VG with his sisters Marie and Luise and his younger brother August, Osnabrück 1916
Design for a cherry-wood wardrobe, apprentice examination, Osnabrück 1918
Detail for wardrobe in 1918
VG in his student' class in Hanover 1919
Relief out of geometric forms for architectural purpose, Hanover 1919
Drawing D 2, 1919
Models for architectural relief, 1921-2
Poster design with drawing and collage, Hanover c. 1924
Typographical Design, 1924
Hanover 1924
Design Catalogue “Gruppe K”, Hanover 1924
Drawing D 22, c. 1924
Hanover 1925, photographed by Käthe Steinitz
At atelier Hans Nitzschke - VG, Nelly van Doesburg, Kurt Schwitters, Theo van Doesburg, Käte Steinitz and Hans Nitzschke, Hanover 1925
From VG's guest-book
Exhibition-Catalogue “L'Art d'Aujourd'hui”, Paris 1925
Painting K 35, 1927
Design for the cover of printed pattern book of Buchheister handicraft firm, Hanover 1926
Design for the City Surveyor's office, Osnabrück 1927
From VG's guest-book
Painting K 41, 1927
VG and Joachim Ringelnatz, 1929
Advertising design for Pelikan's “Peligom glue”, late 1920s
Soloexhibition in Paris 1929
VG in Paris 1929 in front of Gallery Povolozky - with Michel Seuphor and Charles Povolozky
Design for his solo-exhibition in Paris 1929
VG with Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky and others of “cercle et carré” , Paris 1930
VG, 1932 photographed by Hugo Erfurth
Ilse Leda, 1932 photographed by Hugo Erfurth
From VG's guest-book
Typographical design, 1933
Painting K119, 1940
Cover design for Arp's volume of poetry “rire de coquille", Amsterdam 1944
Catalogue-Cover designed by VG for the exhibition at Rijksmuseum in 1945
Collage C 28, 1945-6
De Bijenkorf Department store in Rotterdam
Design for De Bijenkorf 1950
Models for window displays Bijenkorf Department stores at Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam 1950
Painting K 197, 1953
VG next to a sculture of Jean Arp, Amsterdam 1953
Poster design for Osthaus Museum Hagen, 1957
VG at Osthaus Museum Hagen
Design for AGFA, Ulm 1957
Ilse Leda and VG in Ulm
Collage C 20, 1958
VG with from left Tomas Maldonado, Konrad Wachsmann and Max Bill in Ulm
Collage C 17, c. 1958
VG in Ulm next to K 199, the painting was shown upside-down too
Painting K 215, 1961


“The time of my youth, childhood, playground, machines, workshop. But drawings at the bureau of my father too.”

Born 17 November in Osnabrück/Germany as Friedrich Vordemberge

Completed apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker in Osnabrück

Studied at Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) and Technische Hochschule (College of Technology) Hanover - interior design, sculpture and architecture

Sculptural reliefs, worked in the Vierthaler-studio, Hanover


“In 1923 I began to use colour intentionally.”

Project for a villa

Began painting constructions, first typographical designs.

With Hans Nitzschke “Gruppe K”-exhibition at Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover

First own studio at Kestner Gesellschaft

Contacts with Kurt Schwitters and Hans Arp

Member of “Der Sturm”, Berlin

“The greatest achievement until now in the 20th Century art is the breakthrough into the Non-Objective World.”

Willy Rotzler, London 1972

Contacts with Theo van Doesburg

Member of “De Stijl” group, Netherlands/ Paris

Took part in the avantgarde-exhibition “L’Art d’Aujourd’hui”, Paris

“This journey to Paris and the exhibition brought my entrée to the international art world.”


“The work in typography and advertising design was produced in parallel with his paintings and continued throughout his career.”

Dietrich Helms, London 1990

Founder-member of the artist-group “die abstrakten hannover” - Carl Buchheister, César Domela, Rudolf Jahns, Hans Nitzschke, Kurt Schwitters and Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart

Member of the “ring neue werbegestalter” (international circle of new advertising designers)

Part of the exhibition “Wege und Richtungen der abstrakten Malerei in Europa”, Kunsthalle Mannheim

First international solo-exhibition at Galerie Povolozky, Paris

Part of “Abstrakte und Surrealistische Malerei und Plastik”, Kunsthaus Zurich

“From elementary laws of form, colour, line, plane, matter and space one could develop an autonomous plastic reality in which form and content were one.”

Willy Rotzler, London 1972


“Added to the pictorial plane are elementary, stereometric bodies, wood, crescents, cones, pieces of frame which transform the picture into a relief and emphasise its architectural character.”

Willy Rotzler, London 1972

Member of the international artist-group “cercle et carré”, Paris

Part of the exhibition “Vision und Formgesetz”, Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Berlin

Founder-member of the international artist-group “abstraction - création”, Paris

Married Ilse Leda (Hanover 1906 - 1981 Rapperswil)

Exhibitions in Rome and Milan, contact with the Futurists

Lived in Berlin
Stayed in Switzerland

Part of the exhibition “konstruktivisten” at Kunsthalle Basel, Basle

“He believed in the human values of art, the social significance of beauty.”

Gottfried Honegger, Paris 1988


Works of the artist are shown in the exhibition “Entartete Kunst”, Berlin

Emigrated with his wife to Amsterdam

Part of the exhibition “Abstracte Kunst” at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Part of “Modern German Art”, New Burlington Gallery, London

Solo-exhibition at Kunstzaal Kleykamp, The Hague

“The problem of balance takes on a new importance.”

Willy Rotzler, London 1972

Part of the exhibition “Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection of Non-Objective Paintings”, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore

Part of “Art of Tomorrow” at Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Volume of poetry “millimeter und geraden” by Edition Duwaer, Amsterdam

Exhibited at Art of this Century Gallery, New York

Part of the exhibition “konkrete kunst” at Kunsthalle Basel, Basle

Member of the Committee of Honour and Design of the exhibition-catalogue “kunst in vrijheid” at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Friendship with Max Beckmann during the years of the emigration

Part of “La Collezione Peggy Guggenheim” at XXIV Biennale di Venezia

“VG spoke himself of the choreographic principle in the creation of the composition.”

Willy Rotzler, London 1972

Album “vordemberge-gildewart. époque néerlandaise” by Edition Duwaer, Amsterdam

Designed displays for “De Bijenkorf” department stores in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam

Dutch Nationality was given to Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart and his wife

Part of the exhibition “de stijl”, XXVI Biennale di Venezia

Lectured on “The use of colour as a factor in the creation of architectural space” at Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam

Awarded prize at the 2nd Biennale, Sao Paulo

“Pictorial order is added to the graceful, playful, dancelike composition.”

Willy Rotzler, London 1972


“The energy Vordemberge-Gildewart worked with for the principles developed within historical Constructivism, made him a moral instance in a changed world.”

Dietrich Helms, St. Gallen 1975

Appointed to Hochschule für Gestaltung (College of Design) in Ulm as head of the “Visual Communication" Department

Member of PEN Club of the Netherlands

First great exhibition of VG's works 1923 - 1954 at Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Köln, showing the whole development of his abstract and concrete painting

“The work is a pure mirror of the personality of a man who sets order against the chaos of this world.”

Willy Rotzler, London 1972

Member of the Principal's Committee Hochschule für Gestaltung

Exhibited at the Documenta I, Kassel

Series of exhibitions in Germany

“VG became one of the leading masters of a new and clear visual language.”

H.L.C. Jaffé, 1974

“vordemberge-gildewart - eine bild-biografie” (a visual biography) by the artist college Richard P. Lohse

Part of  Documenta II, Kassel

Died 19 december in Ulm

“Beauty is the radiation of truth.”


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