Cologne Fine Art Prize 2018

Horst Antes – COLOGNE FINE ART Prize winner 2018

Horst Antes is the closed eye of the great Manitou who sees everything inwards.
Friedhelm Häring


This year's COLOGNE FINE ART Prize honours the painter, sculptor and draughtsman Horst Antes for his life's work. With his extensive oeuvre, he has achieved a position of outstanding importance in art extending from the 1960s to the present.

Horst Antes, born 1936 in Heppenheim at the edge of the Odenwald, already began to win prizes and scholarships at an early age, including coveted study visits in Florence and Rome. Having only turned thirty, he was appointed professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe, where he had studied at the end of the 1950s with the great HAP Grieshaber. He worked there for decades, as well as in Berlin and in Italy, where he now lives.

Horst Antes is a unique artist who has always consistently pursued his own artistic path and never let himself be lead astray by the trends of the art business. He became famous with his "head figures". With them, he broke through the primacy of the informal and the abstraction that had asserted itself in the 1950s, and which was linked with a turning away from figuration. His early work reveals a downright unfettered sensuality. Vividly coloured, wild, sometimes aggressive pictorial gestures that are bound in energetic forms that burst out of the image space dominate here.

With the head figures, Antes had found an image idea that offered endless possibilities for variation. We encounter them not only in his paintings and print graphic works, but also as sculptures. Although the figures with massive heads and extra-long legs appear disconcerting and in some cases threatening, they were unbelievably popular. Behind the motif is Antes' intensive engagement with ethnological objects.

This is because the three-time documenta participant Horst Antes is a passionate collector and a profound connoisseur of ethnographica. His extensive collections of Kachina figures of the Hopi indians of New Mexico, of indian headdresses and of auxiliary spirits of the Ewe and Dangwe from Ghana were documented in comprehensive catalogues he compiled himself, which are today viewed as standard works.

At COLOGNE FINE ART, a special event with five large works is being presented; personally selected by Horst Antes: a window painting on loan from the Würth Collection, as well as several house paintings created between 1997 and 2006 and originating from various collections. The double portrait "House" and "Garden", in which the artist exhausts all possibilities of abstraction, can also be viewed. This work of the now 82 year-old artist, is from this year, 2018.

The previous prize winners: Felix Droese (1996), Ottmar Hörl (1997), Dieter Roth (1998), Thomas Huber (1999), Thomas Bayrle (2000), Astrid Klein (2001), Sigmar Polke (2002), Jörg Sasse (2003), Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (2004), Thomas Schütte (2005), Dieter Krieg (2006), Gert and Uwe Tobias (2007), Katharina Sieverding (2008), Georg Baselitz (2009), Andreas Schulze (2010), Günther Uecker (2011), Tony Cragg (2012), Jürgen Klauke (2013), Leiko Ikemura (2014), Candida Höfer (2015), Karin Kneffel (2016), Georg Hornemann (2017)

(Text: Birgit Maria Sturm, Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Kunsthändler (BVDG), Berlin)

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