The Artist


German artist / painter / sculptor / designer, 1899-1962

Arta Valstar-Verhoff, Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation/CH

VG with Seychelle nut, Amsterdam 1953
VG with Seychelle nut, Amsterdam 1953

Already at the age of twenty, when he started working as an artist, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart declared the basic forms of line, circle, triangle, rectangle and square as preferable compared to the repertoire of the visible reality. Based on drawings and reliefs close to architectural sculptur, he preserved this conviction along a consistent path through his entire œuvre.

From Hanover, the city of his artistic start, he picked up important impressions. The conciseness and beauty of the elementary form, the radiance of pure color out of International Constructivism and of Dutch “De Stijl”. To collaborate on the great vision of being an artist far beyond painting, who is creating design for architecture, typography and advertising on duty towards a new kind of art and life.

Since 1924 there was first national and international recognition. The opportunity to exhibit at “Kestner Gesellschaft Hanover”, invitations to become a member of “De Stijl” next to Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg as well as being part of “L’Art d’Aujourd’hui” in Paris and “Société Anonyme” in New York next to many well-known colleagues, getting member of “die abstrakten hannover”, “cercle et carré” and “abstraction-création” mark the way of the young Vordemberge-Gildewart within the international avantgarde.

He remained an active part of it even as the strengthening of German National Socialism forced him, the “degenerate” artist, and his Jewish wife Ilse Leda into emigration. Gratefully both of them received the citizenship of the Netherlands in 1950, after they had found a new home there in 1938.
Vordemberge-Gildewart created works of delicate elementary form, of subtle colors and lighter, more musical balance and beauty there.

The membership of the PEN Club of the Netherlands honoured his poetry, the price of the II. Biennale of Sao Paulo, appointments to become a teacher at the “Academie van Beeldende Kunsten” in Rotterdam and the “Hochschule für Gestaltung” in Ulm strengthened the high
regard that accompanied Vordemberge-Gildewart and his artistic work.

The artist is represented in important international collections and museums.

VG, K 144, 1943
VG, K 144, 1943
From VG's studio-book, Hanover 1926
From VG’s studio-book, Hanover 1926

“Vordemberge-Gildewart spoke himself of the choreographic principle in the creation of a composition.”

Willy Rotzler, London 1972

Soloexhibition in Paris 1929
Soloexhibition in Paris 1929
VG in the 1920s
VG in the 1920s
VG in his studio, Hanover 1924
VG in his studio, Hanover 1924

Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart

  • German artist – painter, sculptor, designer for interior and architecture, for typography, advertising and product
  • Member of the important artist-groups within the abstract and concrete avantgarde of the 20th Century such as “De Stijl” or “abstraction-création”
  • Emigration to Amsterdam in 1938
  • Dutch Nationality from on 1950
  • Teacher at “Academie van Beeldende Kunsten Rotterdam” and “Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm”
  • Part of “Biennale di Venezia1952”, “Biennale of Sao Paulo 1953“, “Documenta I 1955” and “Documenta II 1959”

© Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation (Rapperswil/Switzerland)
Works by Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart at Museum Wiesbaden including all photographs and documents out of the Archive: © Museum Wiesbaden (Germany)

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