Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart

Biography

Publicity, furniture, architecture, interior design. Born Friedrich Vordemberge 17 November 1899 in Osnabrück. (By 1920 he had added ‘Gildewart’ to his surname – to avoid confusion with his painter-cousin?). First trained as a cabinet-maker. 1919-22: studied sculpture and interior design at the Hannover Kunstgewerbeschule and the Technische Hochschule, Hannover: teachers included Debschitz and Vierthaler. Early 1920s: designed gravestones, furniture (particularly for his parents’ company), villas and interiors. 1923: influenced by visit to Bauhaus exhibition; took over El Lissitzky’s studio in the Kestner-Gesellschaft building, Hannover. By 1924: in the circle of Kurt Schwitters, Theo van Doesburg (who invited him to join De Stijl); founded Gruppe K (for Konstruktivismus) with the painter Hans Nitzschke; first typographic work. His typographic output, which was considerable, was much influenced by De Stijl and Lissitzky. 1924: member of ‘Der Sturm’, Berlin; visited Wembley Exhibition, London. 1925-30: participated in numerous group exhibitions: Paris (L’Art d’aujourd’hui, 1926), Berlin (1926), New York (1926-7), Mannheim (1927), Zurich (1929), Paris (1930). 1927: founder member of the group ‘die abstrakten hannover’ (earlier Gruppe K). 1928: founding member of ring ‘neue werbegestalter’ (circle of modern advertising designers, formed by Schwitters). 1931: founder member of the group ‘abstraction-création’, Paris. 1936-7: lived in Berlin. (His wife Ilse Leda was Jewish; left Berlin because of the political situation?) 1937/8: emigrated to Switzerland. 1938: emigrated to Holland, where he resumed his career while living in Amsterdam; later became Dutch citizen. 1938: his work included in the Berlin Entartete Kunst (degenerate art) exhibition; work removed from public collections. 1938: his work included in the Twentieth century German Art exhibition, London. 1940: with the publisher Frans Duwaer, founded Editions Duwaer, Amsterdam. To 1945: much of his work destroyed in the war. 1950: designed shop window displays for the department store De Bijenkorf. 1951-3: designed covers for the Dutch architecture journal Forum. 1952-4: taught colour at Academie van beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam. 1954-62: director of the department of visual communication at Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm. Awards: II Biennale, São Paulo (1953); Justus Möser Medal, City of Osnabrück (1955). Died 19 December 1962 in Ulm. A cousin, Friedrich Vordemberge, 1897-1981, was a painter.

Writings by

  • millimetre und geraden/Gedichte, Amsterdam: Duwaer, 1940
  • Tableaux et 7 Poèmes de Kandinsky, Amsterdam, 1945
  • ‘Das illegale Buch – Holland und die Literatur während der Besetzung’, Basle: Nationalzeitung, 14 Jan. 1946
  • ‘Kurt Schwitters 1887-1948’, Forum, no. 12, v. 3, Amsterdam, 1948 (enlarged version in Bauwelt, 30 March 1959, and in D. Helms, 1976, see below)
  • contribution in Werkman, Arnhem, 1949
  • Epoque Néerlandaise (monograph), Amsterdam: Duwaer, 1949
  • article about Kurt Schwitters, Bauwelt, 30 March 1959
  • D. Helms (ed.), Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart: Schriften und Vorträge, St Gallen: Erker, 1976 (brief writings, autobiography, biography, bibliography)
  • fragment of an autobiography, in D. Helms, Complete works, 1990, see below
  • brief writings in D. Helms, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart/Typographie und Werbegestaltung 1990, see below: ‘Zur Geschichte der Typographie’, pp. 93-6, ‘Das illegale Buch’ (during the German occupation of Holland), pp. 97-8, ‘Vordemberge beautwortet Fragen’ (1950 interview), p. 99, ‘Zur Einführung’ (1957, his student course at Ulm), p. 100 .

Writings about

  • Willy Rotzler, Vordemberge-Gildewart, St Gallen, 1979
  • International Biographical Dictionary of Central European Emigrés 1933-45, Munich, New York, London, Paris: K.G. Saur, 1983., 1983 (list of exhs, bibliography)
  • D. Helms (ed.), Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart: Schriften und Vorträge, St Gallen: Erker, 1976
  • A comprehensive reference is Dietrich Helms (and others), Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart. The complete works, 1990 (see below).
  • 1928-85: Jan Tschichold, ‘Fotografie und Typografie’, Die Form, 1928, v. 5, pp. 140-50, esp. p. 143
  • Heinz and Bodo Rasch, Gefesselter Blick, Stuttgart: Zaugg, 1930, pp. 104-7 (repr. Baden, Switzerland: Müller, 1996)
  • vordemberge-gildewart, époque néerlandaise, Amsterdam: Duwaer, 1949
  • ‘Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart’, Das Kunstwerk, 1950, v. VIII/IX, p. 116 (review of Amsterdam exh.
  • photo of FV-G: p. 28)
  • ‘Vordemberge-Gildewart’, Das Kunstwerk, 1953, v. 3/4, pp. 108-9 (plus 2-page supplement
  • works, photo of FV-G)
  • Eduard Trier, ‘Vordemberge-Gildewart in Köln’ (exh.), Das Kunstwerk, 1954, v. 4, p. 85
  • Josef Albers, Fritz Glarner, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart (exh. cat.), Zurich: Kunsthaus, 1956
  • H.L.C. Jaffé, de Stijl/1917-1931, Amsterdam, J.M. Meulenhoff, 1956
  • Richard P. Lohse (ed.), vordemberge-gildewart – eine bild-biografie (on V-G’s 60th birthday), Teufen: Lohse, 1959
  • Kate Steinitz, ‘Friedel Vordemberge-Gildewart’, in Wieland Schmied (ed.), Wegbereiter zur modernen Kunst. 50 Jahre Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover: Fackelträger, 1966, pp. 46-8
  • H.L.C. Jaffé, Vordemberge-Gildewart. Mensch und Werk, Cologne: DuMont Schauberg, 1971
  • D. Helms, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart 1899-1962 – Gemälde, Collagen, Werkskizzen, Bauplastik, Typographie (exh. cat.), Ludwigshafen a. Rh.: Wilhelm Hack Museum, 1985
  • 1986-present: D. Helms, die abstrakten hannover – Internationale Avantgarde 1927-35 (exh. cat.), Ludwigshafen a. Rh.: Wilhelm Hack Museum, 1987-8
  • Dietrich Helms and others, Typographie kann unter Umständen Kunst sein, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart. Typographie und Werbegestaltung (exh. cat.
  • on cover: Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart. Typographie und Werbegestaltung ), Wiesbaden: Landesmuseum, 1990 (major exh. of FV-G’s typographic/advertising work)
  • Volker Rattemeyer, Dietrich Helms and others, Ring ‘neue werbegestalter’. Amsterdamer Ausstellung von 1931 (additional on title page: ‘“Typographie kann unter Umständen Kunst sein”’) (exh. cat.), Wiesbaden: Museum Wiesbaden, 1990
  • Ilse Unruh, ‘Zwei Ausstellungen zur “Neuen Typographie” der zwanziger Jahre: Kurt Schwitters und Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart in Wiesbaden – Willi Baumeister in Frankfurt am Main’, Aus dem Antiquariat, 1990, 6, pp. A257-60
  • D. Helms, with Arta Valstar-Verhoff, Vordemberge-Gildewart: the complete works, Munich: Prestel (and London: Thames & Hudson, and New York: Neues), 1990 (complete list of exhibitions and bibliography)
  • Kees Broos and Paul Hefting, Dutch Graphic Design, London: Phaidon, 1993, pp. 91, 114, 131, 134, 135
  • V. Rattemeyer and D. Helms, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart/Baugestaltung (exh. cat.), Wiesbaden: Stiftung Vordemberge-Gildewart, Museum Wiesbaden, 1993
  • Heribert Schulz (intro.), Hommage à Vordemberge-Gildewart (exh. cat.
  • centenary of birth), Osnabrück: Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, 1999
  • Benezit, 2006 (includes works in European museums, auction records, 1969-2002)
  • www.annelyjudafineart.co.uk/artists (includes exhibitions).
  • Ernst Fischer and others, Buchgestaltung im Exil 1933-1950. Eine Ausstellung des Deutschen Exilarchivs 1933-1945 Der Deutschen Bibliothek. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003. Very comprehensive. , 2003, biog.: p. 208

Exhibitions

  • Hannover, 1924
  • Paris, 1929
  • Rome, Milan, 1934
  • Basel, 1937
  • Munich (Degenerate Art), 1937
  • New Burlington Gallery, London, 1938 (group: Modern German Art)
  • The Hague, 1938
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Basel, 1947
  • Galerie Maeght, Paris, 1949 (group)
  • Galerie ‘De Bijenkorf’, Amsterdam, 1950
  • Kunstakademie, Rotterdam, 1952 (group)
  • Galerie Möller, Cologne (with Josef Albers, Fritz Glarner), 1954
  • Museum d. Stadt, Ulm, 1955
  • Kunsthaus, Zurich, 1956
  • Kunstmuseum, St Gallen, 1957
  • Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum, Hagen, 1957
  • Kunstverein, Frankfurt a.M., 1958
  • Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, 1958
  • Kunstverein, Frankfort a.M., 1958
  • Kunstverein, Freiburg i.Br., 1959
  • Hannover, 1962
  • Ulm, 1963 (solo retrospective), 1975
  • Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen a. Rh., and Annely Juda Gallery, London, and Carus Gallery, New York, 1985-6
  • Sprengel Museum, Hannover, and Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen a. Rh., 1987-8
  • Landesmuseum, Wiesbaden, 1990 (major exh. of typographic/advertising work), then to Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1990/91, and Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, 1991
  • Wiesbaden, Museum, 1997
  • Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, Osnabrück, Nov. 1999-Feb. 2000
  • Annely Juda, London, 2001.

Collections

  • Stiftung Vordemberge-Gildewart, Rapperswil, Switzerland.