Cologne: 21.–24.11.2019

Horst Antes awarded COLOGNE FINE ART Prize 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.

Horst Antes has also become known to a broad public through his metal sculptures in urban spaces. For example, through the multipiece ensemble "Der Ring – Der Fresser- Die Insel" (The ring, the glutton, the island), which has been standing directly in front of the Düsseldorf central station since 1987, or through the "Platz der Köpfe“ (Square of heads) (1980 to 1983) in front of the ZDF in Mainz. His works can be found around the world in countless museums and private art collections. 

Since around the mid 1980s, Horst Antes has made a kind of iconic turnaround, and has since then taken up two fundamental elements of human culture, the number and the house, as central themes. In the case of the so-called date or time paintings, the numerals are painted on top of one another, and result in a dense pictorial surface. In the windowless house paintings, a formerly broad painting pallet makes way for occasionally darker shades. Graphite, black and heavy brown-red shades increasingly define the image areas, from which, however, the intense blue of the roofs radiates.

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.

Horst Antes – biographical milestones

1936  -  born in Heppenheim
1957-59 -  Studied with HAP Grieshaber at the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe
1961 - "Junger Westen" art prize, Recklinghausen
1962  -  Villa Romana, Florence
1963  -  Villa Massimo, Rome
1966 -  Prize for painting, Venice Biennale
since 1967 -  professor for painting at the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe 
1964 / 1968 / 1977 -  Participation in documenta in Kassel
1992  -  Grand Prize of the Bienal de São Paulo
2013 - Retrospective in the Gropius Bau in Berlin "Antes. Painting 1958 – 2010“
Catalogues of the paintings have been appearing since 2013 (10 volumes)  

Berliner Fenster 1987 © Horst Antes

On the occasion of the festive award ceremony on the opening day of Cologne Fine Art, Joachim Sartorius will hold a laudatory speech for the prizewinner. Sartorius, director of many years of the Berliner Festspiele, curated a highly regarded retrospective of Horst Antes' painting from 1958 to 2010 in the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin in 2013. The award ceremony takes place on 21 November at 3:00 p.m. in the Horst Antes special event at Cologne Fine Art.


The COLOGNE FINE ART Prize is endowed with 10,000 Euro and is conferred jointly by Koelnmesse and the Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Kunsthändler e.V. (BVDG/German Association of Galleries and Art Dealers) on the occasion of COLOGNE FINE ART.

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).

Further Information  

BVDG - Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Kunsthändler e.V. 

Note for editorial offices:
COLOGNE FINE ART photos are available in our image database on the Internet at in the “Press” section. Press information is available at:

If you reprint this document, please send us a sample copy.


Your contact:
Christine Hackmann
Communications Manager

Koelnmesse GmbH
Messeplatz 1
50679 Cologne
Tel. +49 221 821 2288
Fax: +49 221 821 3544
E-Mail: c,

You receive this message as a subscriber to the press releases of Koelnmesse. In case you would like to dispense with our service, please reply to this mail under the heading "unsubsribe".

Christine Hackmann

Your contacts:

Christine Hackmann
Communications Manager
Tel. +49 221 821-2288
Write an e-mail

Please send voucher copies to

Koelnmesse GmbH
- Media Services -
Postfach 210760
50532 Köln, Germany