Born in Germany, Vordemberge-Gildewart studied architecture and sculpture in Hanover. He became a close friend of the artist Kurt Schwitters, who also lived there. Vordemberge-Gildewart was one of the first artists to work in an abstract style throughout his career, instead of arriving at abstraction through a process of reduction, as Picasso, Braque and Mondrian had done. He began making constructivist-influenced paintings in 1919 and 1920 and from 1925 had close ties with the Dutch De Stijl group. Vordemberge-Gildewart lived in Paris in the mid-1920s, designing posters and catalogues as well as pursuing his own artistic agenda.