Gouache, opaque white and pen and ink on laid paper
12 1/2 x 17 3/8 inches (31,6 x 44 cm)
Über Horst Janssen
Born: 1929 in Hamburg
Died: 1995 in Hamburg
Horst Janssen, born on November 14, 1929 in Hamburg – as he himself used to say, "in transit" – is probably one of the most important artists of the German postwar period. He is not only a gifted draftsman but his work includes woodcuts, lithographs and etchings, as well as watercolours, collages and photographs. Despite his diversity, his artistic works have one thing in common: unlike many of his contemporaries, in his oeuvre, Janssen remains committed to the subject. The "exact look" is part of the handcraft, whether small details which delight the eye, landscapes, ephemeral still lives, portraits, or copies of the great masters – Janssen is always "all eyes". His studies at the Landeskunstschule Hamburg, as a master student with Alfred Mahlau, set the career of this exceptional talent and Enfant Terrible in 1946, whose unbelievable productivity continued even with physical infirmity. When he almost lost his eyesight in 1990 after falling from the balcony of his "castle" in Hamburg Blankenese, due to acid burning his eyes, he still had the crayon in his hand that same day. After several strokes, Horst Janssen died on August 31, 1995 in Hamburg. He is buried at the Gertruden Cemetery in Oldenburg as an honorary citizen of the city. Posthumously, Janssen received his own museum there in the year 2000, which regularly houses exhibitions on the artist's work cycles.