MADELON VRIESENDORP, Hon FRIBA Hon AA Dip, was born in 1945 in Holland. In 1964 she studied in Amsterdam at the Rietveld Academy and later worked on the restoration of old frescoes and as a designer of stage costumes, books and jewellery. Five years later she enrolled at Central St. Martins School of Art in London. She exhibited her work at the Workshop and the Serpentine Gallery, among others.
Office of Metropolitan Architecture
In 1972 she moved to Ithaca and then New York with Rem Koolhaas. While in New York, Vriesendorp co-founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture with Koolhaas, Elia and Zoe Zenghelis. Paintings she produced at the time were used for book and magazine covers, notably Flagrant Delit on the cover of Delirious New York in 1978 by Rem Koolhaas. They were exhibited at the New York Guggenheim and Max Protetch galleries, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Stedelijk in Amsterdam and Gallery Ma in Tokyo among others.
Her work has been acquired by collectors, public and private, including the CCA Montreal, and Frankfurt Architectural Museum, amongst others. The art projects and writings have been published widely amongst others in Build, Design Quarterly, Domus, Abitare, Casabella, Architecture Aujourd’hui, while working on costumes, built objects, paintings and short stories.
Flagrant Delit – animation
In 1976, Vriesendorp returned to London to work on numerous OMA competitions. With Teri Wehn-Damisch she drew the storyboard Flagrant Delit, an animation film for French Television, developed by Cartoon Farm, directed by Jean-Pierre Jacquet. The story of Liberty’s visit as a tourist in New York. The film was shown in Annecy Film Festival, French Television, V&A and MoMA etc.
In 1977 they had a daughter and in 1980, a son. From the mid 1980s she taught art and design at a number of schools, including the Architectural Association and the Edinburgh School of Art.
World of Madelon Vriesendorp
The exhibition World of Madelon Vriesendorp first shown in January 2008 at the Architectural Association, accompanied by the book of the same name, from AA Publications by its curator AACP director Shumon Basar and architect/theorist Stephan Trüby, and designed by Kasia Korczak. It went on to Aedes Berlin in March and the Venice Architectural Biennale in September that year. Basel opened in January 2009 at the Swiss Architectural Museum. She also had an installation at the Art Biennale in Venice and the Architecture Bienalle in Rotterdam that same year.
She worked together with Kees Christaanse on a chess set made in ETHZ for the Rotterdam Biennale in 2009.
Over the last ten years she has worked in collaboration with Charles Jencks, producing drawings and models to accompany many of his publications, and with her daughter, Charlie in Room for Thought in Lausanne’s Lucy Mackintosh Gallery in 2012, and on several books and art projects.
She collaborated with Noemi Blager, Tapio Snellman and Assemble on Lina Bo Bardi: Together, which went on a worldwide tour from 2012-16, starting in London and ending up in Sao Paolo, funded by Arper. Again with Assemble, she worked on the Colombo Art Biennale in 2016.
2009 – Present
Designed an installation for the Rotunda Project Contemplating the Void at the Guggenheim in 2009, the watercolour was sold for fundraising. Created an installation for the Maggie Centre, Installation in London designed by Richard Rogers in 2009. A group exhibition with Sylvia Libedinsky and Nick Wadley was shown in Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires, Cortes y Recortes in 2010.
In 2011 the chess set was shown in Sanaa’s Rolex Learning Centre in Lausanne. She contributed to O interior esta no exterior, in the Casa de Vidro Exhibition in Sao Paolo 2013, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. She painted postcards for Freeze for Frieze for the Moncler fundraising show for RCA scholarships in 2016. An installation was included in the Istanbul Design Biennale in 2016, The Hand – The whole man in miniature, a mixed-media installation as part of her larger investigation of the human body.
Her work was included in the MoMA PSI exhibition Past Skin, ending in September 2017.
She received an Honorable Fellowship from the RIBA in February 2009 “for the general advancement of Architecture, and for promoting and facilitating the acquirement of the knowledge of various Arts and Sciences connected therewith”. In June 2017 the Architectural Association awarded her an Honorary Diploma “in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the imagination of architecture.”
‘The Workshop” Lamb Conduit Street, London ‘71
‘Van Rooy Galerie’ Amsterdam, with OMA, ‘72
‘Fine Arts Centre’ University of Rhode Island ;(solo); ‘75
‘Compagnia del Disegno’, Milan (group); ‘76
‘Stedelijk Museum’, with OMA, ’80-‘81
‘Gallery MA’ Tokyo, with OMA, ‘81
Architectural Association, Teaching, London, 1982-92
‘Images et Imaginaires d’Architecture’ Centre Pompidou, ‘84
Dutch postal stamp, ‘87
‘OMA 1972-1988’, Architectur Museum, Basel, Suisse,’88
‘Recent work’, Max Protech Gallery,NY, with OMA ‘88
‘OMA: The First Decade’, Boymans Museum, Rotterdam, NL, ’88
‘Le Cité’ ,Centre Pompidou, Paris, group, with OMA, ‘94
‘De Vrouw als Monument’, Galerie de Veemvloer’, Amsterdam(group),’95
‘Challenge The Nail’, Salon des Arts, London; (group); 2001
‘Archilab’ FRAC, Orleans, FR, (group), 2003
‘Sense of the City’ CCA, Montreal (group), 2005-6
‘OMA in The Hague’ Stroom Den Haag, the Hague, Holland, ‘06
‘Future City’, Barbican Art Gallery, London, ‘06
Changing Ideals: Re-thinking the House at NAI, Maastricht, (group) ’08
Maggie Centre, Installation, London, ‘09
Harvard Lecture with Charlie Koolhaas, Boston, ’08
Edinburgh School of Architecture, Teaching, ’09
Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Chess Set, NL, ‘09
Hon Fellowship awarded by RIBA, ‘09
‘Cortes y Recortes’, Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, ‘10
‘Room for Thought’, with Charlie Koolhaas at Lucy Mackintosh Gallery, Lausanne, ‘11
‘Chess Set’ (with Kees Christiaanse), Sanaa Building, Lausanne, ‘11
Berlage Institute, Delft, Holland ‘13 – Masterclass
Soane’s Museum Workshop concieved by Sam Jacob, Architectural Association, London, ‘14
Postcard Project: 'Freeze For Frieze', Moncler & RCA, London, ’16
Lecture at ‘Drawing Futures’ Conference, Bartlett School of Architecture, London, ’16
Hon AA Diploma, Architectural Association, (acceptance speech – see Articles, London, ‘17
Lecture at the Design Museum, 'Design Directions', London '17
Lecture at ‘Les Causeries de Novembre’, Ensa Paris Belleville Architectural School, Paris, ’17
Lecture at the ‘Architecture of Collage’ Symposium, Berlinische Gallerie, Berlin, ’17
Winner of the 2018 Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, awarded by The Architects’ Journal and The Architectural Review, London, ’18
Paul Finch remarks: ‘Madelon Vriesendorp is a rarity: a true artist who has a deep understanding of architecture and its protocols, and whose observant and witty work has provided a thoughtful visual counterpoint to the world of bricks and mortar.’
'Bed-In' Dutch Pavilion, WORK, BODY ,LEISURE, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, ’18
Live Interview at the General Rehearsal ’18: ‘The Rebellion of Objects’, FAD (Foment de les Arts i del Disseny), Barcelona, '18
Created the Awards for the The Architectural Review's 'Women In Architecture Awards' , London, '19
Symposium 'Parity Talks IV' at the ETH Zurich, '19
Live Interview with Sam Jacob at the Barbican, 'In Conversation: Madelon Vriesendorp and Sam Jacob Architecture on Stage', London '19
V&A Exhibition 'Paper Castles', "THE METRE AND THE FOOT ARE RIVALS" with Steve Karas, Ian Kirk, London, '19