Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart

Born 1899, Osnabrück, Germany

Died 1962, Ulm, West Germany


One of the first painters to work in the abstract style throughout his entire career.  He was active in typographical design and also wrote poetry.    


1919   Moves to Hannover to study architecture, sculpture, and interior design at the Applied Arts School and Technical Institute.  Creates his first abstract reliefs.

1924   Forms the abstract art group “Gruppe K” with Hans Nitzschke and joins Der Sturm in Berlin.  Meets Kurt Schwitters, Hans Arp, and Theo van Doesburg and joins the de Stijl group.  His works encompass geometrical abstract pictures with a diagonal emphasis.

1925   Participates in the exhibition “L’Art d’Aujourdhui” in Paris.

1926   Participates in the Société Anonyme “International Exhibition of Modern Art” at the Brooklyn Museum.    

1927   Together with Schwitters and Carl Buchheister, Vordemberge-Gildewart founds Die Abstrakten Hannover (within the International Association of Futurists, Cubists, and Constructivists of Berlin). 

1929   First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Povolozky, Paris.

1930   Becomes a member of Cercle et Carré. 

1931-32   Becomes a founding member of Abstraction-Création. 

1936   Moves from Hannover to Berlin.

1937   The Nazi regime exposes his works in the Degenerate Art exhibition in Munich.  Vordemberge-Gildewart is forced to leave and first moves to Switzerland and then to Amsterdam in 1938, where he remains until 1954.     

1954   Max Bill appoints him director of the visual communications course at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm.