Ferdinand Spindel
Untitled, 1976
foam, white paint, sewn, in a wooden box
73 x 155 x 13 cm
Ferdinand Spindel
Untitled, 1974
foam, white paint
95 x 96 x14,7
Ferdinand Spindel
Untitled, end of 1960ies/beginning of the 1970ies
foam, white paint
39,2 x 88 x 10 cm


The self-taught painter Ferdinand Spindel was born in Essen in 1923. Following his education in applied graphics with Professor Max Burcharzt at the Folkswangschule, he works as a graphic designer in Berlin until 1938. From 1947 he works as an independent painter. In 1950 he moves back to Essen and in 1952 he untertakes a journey to Paris.  He becomes a member of the Union of German Artists in 1957. Since 1963 he shapes the image of the established Gelsenkirchener artists commune Halfmannshoff significantly also as chairman from 1965 to 1969 and as substitute chairman from1970 to 1973. In this context, Spindel establishes an early contact to the ZERO group and exhibits alongside them. After his generally non-representational works of the 50s, in 1963, Spindel discovers the use of everyday materials and devotes himself almost exclusively to foam material. At the beginning of this phase he destroys the majority of his younger works. It is the aesthetic of this soft, malleable material, both in monochrome, as well as in its respective original colour, that will henceforth be fundamental throughout his œuvre. The attempt to firmly establish this material as a carrier of images takes the effect of light and space into consideration, whereby a shared artistic ground with the body of thought of ZERO is made evident. In 1964 he receives the art award from the city of Gelsenkirchen. He is listed in the artist group B 1 beetween 1969 and 1970.  In 1972 he is honoured with the Konrad-von-Soest award from the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe. From the 1970s, a renewed confrontation with his earlier, almost sculptural pencil drawings is discernable, and their proximity to the material structure of the foam is sharply apparent. In 1973 he moves to Nuenkirchen near Soltau in the Luneburg Heath region, where he dies in 1980.








1969 Participates in the group exhibition Bildblöcke – Schaumstoffräume: Karolus Lodenkämper, Ferdinand Spindel, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund 1993 Solo exhibition Ferdinand Spindel - Eine Retrospektive, Städtisches Museum Gelsenkirchen 2011 Group exhibition Nie wieder störungsfrei, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen 2015 In Space. Works by Otto Boll and Ferdinand Spindel, Dierking Galerie am Paradeplatz, Zurich/Cologne






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