Horst Janssen

Germany 1929 - 2014

Illustration, Prints, Drawing

Horst Janssen
Horst Janssen
December 22, 2014
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

The different approach to forming, composition, and purified color palette made the work of Horst Janssen becoming recognized as distinct and quite sophisticated. The way the artist appropriated references and influences, and subtly subverted them by introducing something completely new, suggest the artists high creative force. Janssen gave himself complete freedom in choosing subjects for his works and showed the exceptional gift for drawing and deep interest in various engraving techniques. Although his aesthetic is a bit mysterious and serene, it represents how deeply the artist was connected with the process not just in technical, but rather in the conceptual sense.

His paper works of were on view at exhibitions in chicago hamburg and Oldenburg museum in 1995
Horst Janssen – Untitled – image via galeriekuehn

The Importance of Artistic Education

Horst Janssen was born in 1929 in Hamburg. Due to an early death of parents, he moved a lot and changed several guardians. Nevertheless, in 1942 Janssen became a student at the National Political Institute of Education in Haselünne, Emsland, where was encouraged for his artistic talent by an art teacher Hans Wienhausen. Four years later, he enrolled at the Landeskunstschule in Hamburg, where he studied with Alfred Mahlau, proving to be an outstanding pupil from the outset. Around 1952, the artist was forced to leave the Landeskunstschule and the following year, he was arrested after a drunken brawl and even trialed for murder but was found innocent.

Early Works

Shortly after the artist started attending the art school, his first publication happened. It was a drawing in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, which led him further in publishing his first children’s Seid ihr alle da? (Are you all there?), with Rolf Italiaander. After the birth of his son, in 1950 Janssen wrote and illustrated his second book under the title Der Wettlauf Zwischen Hase und Igel Auf der Buxtehuder Heide (The race between the hare and the hedgehog on the Buxtehude Heath), for the birthday of a little girl named Friederike Gutsche, which was published few decades later in a facsimile edition.

Horst Janssen was examining the gap between figuration and abstraction

The drawings engravings and other work of Janssen was quite innovative in the terms of german art
Horst Janssen – Les Bras No.3 – image via thesaleroom

Woodcuts And Lithography of Horst Janssen

The first woodcuts Horst Janssen produced were very much influenced by Edvard Munch. Such a devotion to expressive details and immense craftsmanship was noted, so in the early 1950s, he received a commission from the paper manufacturer Guido Dessauer for a portrait of his father-in-law, the diplomat Friedrich von Keller, followed by other portraits of family members. During that time, Janssen was able to create his first lithographs using the technical equipment of the Aschaffenburger Buntpapierfabrik. By the mid-1950s, he worked on a series of large-scale color woodcuts that were displayed in his apartment and gained recognition with an exhibition in Hanover in the Hans Brockstedt Gallery. Shortly afterward, Janssen started producing etchings and became a pupil of Paul Wunderlich, whom he later considered a rival.

Aesthetic of Expression And Intensity

The works of Horst Janssen were often seen in the tradition of Goya, Ensor, Klinger, Munch, Redon and Kubin. The most notable is the influence of Expressionism, although his later works were influenced by Art Brut and Jean Dubuffet. However, Janssen managed to construct strong, whimsical, and impeccable visual language interwoven with timeless quality and constant intent for observation of reality. The subject of his huge opus is mainly centered around the themes of Still-life, Erotic drawings, Eros and Death, Portraits of friends, Landscapes and Self-portraits. In addition to his versatility and innovation, is the fact that Horst Janssen has been considered by some as one of the most distinguished draftsmen of the second part of the 20th century.

Multi-layered works of Horts Janssen reflect great craftsmanship and artistry

The information about the self was always important for his work since he articulated his experiences
Horst Janssen – Untitled (Death and Young Woman) – image via lempertz

The Great Domains of Horst Janssen

Although the life of Horst Janssen was marked by numerous marriages, outspoken opinions, and alcoholism, his artistic career was rather fruitful and successful. Already in 1964, Horst Janssen was awarded the Darmstadt Art Prize, and just one year later a retrospective of his drawings and graphic works appeared in the kestnergesellschaft in Hanover. The artist was awarded Hamburg’s Edwin Scharff Prize in 1966, and in 1968 he won first prize for graphic art at the Venice Biennale. The Horst Janssen Museum in his hometown of Oldenburg is dedicated to his legacy and the city made him an honorary citizen in 1992. Despite the obstacles of real life, Horst Janssen managed to construct works carefully composed out of interactions between reality and fantasy and establish a complex new entity.

Horst Janssen died in 1995 in Hamburg.

All images used are for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
201530 years Fischerplatz GalleryFischerplatz Gallery | BEGE galleries , UlmGroup
2014Horny Sybillchen. Erotic fantasies by Horst JanssenHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2014Horst Janssenn - EtchingsSievi Gallery , BerlinSolo
2014It's PopArt? LEVY Galerie , Hamburg Group
2014ALL PETS SIN EQUALGallery Pforzheim , PforzheimGroup
2013Horst JanssenHegau Bodensee Galerie , SingingSolo
2013Still LifeGallery Kaysser , RuhpoldingGroup
2013... There goes BüchnerGallery Netuschil , DarmstadtGroup
2013Art. Moves. 03Museum Schloss Moyland , BedburgGroup
2013Give me fiveStädel Museum , FrankfurtGroup
2013A Wild World of DoubtKunstverein in Hamburg , HamburgGroup
2012Length and light - North German landscapesKunsthalle Rostock , RostockGroup
20121 - 2 - 3 - A - Z - graphical effects - An exhibition of the art libraryStädtische Galerie Villa Zanders , Bergisch GladbachGroup
2012Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and TrasfigurationMoMA - Museum of Modern Art , New York City, NYGroup
2012Resting items from the collection SØR Rusche Abbey Museum Liesborn , WaderslohGroup
2011Horst Janssen - Mischtechniken- prints  Galerie Wolfgang Exner , ViennaSolo
2011Horst Janssen - The PosterGallery Roy , ZulpichSolo
2011Prints and postersGallery ART IS! , hedgehogSolo
2011Search | Horst Janssen - The early workKunsthaus Stade , StadeSolo
201115 Years ofGallery in Tulla , MannheimGroup
2011From the Elbe to the Main - Two hamburgers in FrankfurtThe Gallery, FrankfurtGroup
2011A journey through the printmakingSmall gallery , ViennaGroup
2011People pictures - Selected works from the contemporary art collection of the Federal Republic of GermanyGreat art Worpswede , WorpswedeGroup
2011Horst Janssen and the RomanticsHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgGroup
2011TotentanzMuseum of Young Art , FrankfurtGroup
201140 years mandrel GalleryGallery of thorns , StuttgartGroup
2010Horst Janssen - drawings, watercolors and drawings  Galerie am Dom Wetzlar , WetzlarSolo
2010Horst Janssen - Play With The Cup - Drawings from the Collection Hans BrockstedtMuseum of Fine Arts Leipzig , LeipzigSolo
2010In the lump I love landscape - Horst Janssen works from the collection BrockstedtHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2010Horst Janssen - drawings and graphicsKunsthaus Kaufbeuren , KaufbeurenSolo
2010Horst Janssena - The poster - House SalmeggAssociation of Art and History , RheinfeldenSolo
2010Value - PaperGallery Signum Winfried Heid , HeidelbergGroup
2010From Michael Hauptmann collectionGallery Renate chamber , HamburgGroup
2010Horst Janssen & Germaine RichierGallery Ditesheim & Maffei , NeuchâtelGroup
2010Highs and lows - The Art of GraphicKunstverein Oerlinghausen , OerlinghausenGroup
2010Home visits - 175 years Kassel Art AssociationKassel Art Association , KasselGroup
2010Discoveries - gems Under € 5.000Art trade Jörg Maass , BerlinGroup
2009Horst Janssen - The retrospective on his 80th birthdayHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2009Horst JanssenGallery Stoetzel-Tiedt , GoslarSolo
2009Horst Janssen. The Alp - Variations to Heinrich FüssliHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
2009Christmas ExhibitionHeck-Art-Gallery Art eV Chemnitz , ChemnitzGroup
20094. Biennale of Graphic ArtsGallery mandrel , StuttgartGroup
2009REVIEW IN THE MODERN - Graphics and painting in the 20th century from the collection of Richard H. MayerMuseum of Young Art , FrankfurtGroup
200940 years gallery Koch WestenhoffGallery Koch Westenhoff , LübeckGroup
2009Individual works: Collectibles Gallery germ , StuttgartGroup
2009La Beaute de l'Estampe-correspondancesGallery Ditesheim & Maffei , NeuchâtelGroup
2009Limited! Prints of the 20th century from the collection of Städt. Wessenberg GalleryUrban Wessenberg Gallery , ConstanceGroup
2008Horst Janssen - happiness enough!Rolled fine arts , ÜberlingenSolo
2008Horst Janssen - Only increases …Panorama Museum , Bad FrankenhausenSolo
2008Again beads …Horst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2008The whole world in screwHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2008See & CollectHeck-Art-Gallery Art eV Chemnitz , ChemnitzGroup
2008Painful awesome - Artists and their diseasesRolled fine arts , ÜberlingenGroup
2008German printmaking in 1945Gallery ART IS , hedgehogGroup
2008LandscapeGalerie Peter Bäumler , RegensburgGroup
2008... Just a moment please! Please cast an eye ...Kunstverein Bad Salzdetfurth eV ,BodenburgGroup
2008Final strokeMunicipal Gallery Herne in the castle park Strünkede , HerneGroup
2008After Him - Horst Janssen and RembrandtHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgGroup
2007Horst Janssen - Mirror of Time. The artist in the self-portraitRolled fine arts , ÜberlingenSolo
2007Horst Janssen - etchings - TeachingAuction House and Gallery , BerlinSolo
2007BlickwechselGallery germ , StuttgartGroup
20073. Biennale of Graphic ArtsGallery mandrel , StuttgartGroup
2007Change of View. The Municipal Art Collection Wilhelmshaven, 1904 - 2004Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven , WilhelmshavenGroup
2007Horst Janssen, Falko Behrendt et alMuseum of Fine Arts Leipzig , LeipzigGroup
2007Artist GalleryGallery Dube Heynig , MunichGroup
2006Spun and Masterful: The early work of Horst JanssenHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2006Horst JanssenKunstverein city sound , Sound citySolo
2006Horst Janssen Solo ExhibitMMK Museum of Modern Art - Wörlen Foundation , PassauSolo
2006The Scandinavian trip. Drawings and etchings by Horst JanssenHorst Janssen Museum ,OldenburgSolo
2006Horst Janssen - Genie in UntimelyKäthe Kollwitz Museum Cologne , CologneSolo
2006Horst Janssen - L` heure de MylèneHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
2006Horst Janssen - graphics from the collection Tete BöttgerGraphic Museum Foundation carpenter , Bad StebenSolo
2006Aldegrever exhibitionAcademy Franz heat the house , MünsterGroup
2006The art of self-portraits - Leonie collection of RüxlebenKunsthalle St. Annen Lübeck , LübeckGroup
2006Easter exhibitionArs Vivendi art trade , OberpfaffenhofenGroup
2006The Joy of CollectingGallery Schlichtenmaier, StuttgartGroup
2005Plotted against timeHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2005Meadows and fields - Kunstverein Aurich eVArt Pavilion at Ellernfeld , AurichSolo
2005Horst Janssen - Eros and DeathMuseum Folkwang Essen , EssenSolo
2005Horst Janssen - Original EtchingsHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
2005Horst JansenArt Museum diesel power station in Cottbus , CottbusSolo
2005Master Prints from private collectionsGalerie Erhard Witzel , WiesbadenGroup
2005Inventory IIIGallery germ , StuttgartGroup
2005Painting, graphic art and sculpture from the stockGalerie am Gendarmenmarkt , BerlinGroup
2005Omaggio a Horst Janssen - disegni, acqueforti, acquerelliGalleria Forni , BolognaGroup
2005Drawings as state gifts & gifts of GodHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgGroup
200550 YEARS OF GALLERY COOK  Galerie Koch , Hannover Group
2005Graph of the XX. CenturyGallery Vömel , DusseldorfGroup
2004Horst Janssen - Solo ShowKäthe Kollwitz Museum Berlin , BerlinSolo
2004Horst JanssenGallery M Beck, Edition Monika Beck , Homburg, SaarSolo
2004Horst Jansen - Personal ShowMuseum of Contemporary Art Skopje , SkopjeSolo
2004Horst Janssen - Master DrawingsHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
2004Horst Janssen -Hamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
2004Horst Janssen - Trees in backlight - From Sketch to etchingHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
2004HORST JANSSEN ROBERT LEBECK: 75th BirthdayGallery Brockstedt , BerlinGroup
2004Passion is an expert eyeGallery Schlichtenmaier, StuttgartGroup
2004Egon Schiele and Horst Janssen - staging. Eros and deathHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgGroup
2004300. Exhibition Part IIBookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
2004300. Exhibition Part IBookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
2004Janssen himselfHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgGroup
2004Proven in changes 1972 - 2004 Bookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
2004Egon Schiele - Horst Janssen: self-presentation, Eros and DeathLeopold Museum , ViennaGroup
2003Light and line - Horst Janssen and Photography .. or was it a photo?Horst Janssen Museum, OldenburgSolo
2003HORST JANSSEN - I am quite eye - drawings and printsGalerie Kühn - Lilienthal , BremenSolo
2003Horst Janssen - With speak Japanese brushStädtische Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen ,Bietigheim-BissingenSolo
2003Horst Janssen - Erotic leavesGalerie der Stadt Wendlingen , WendlingenSolo
2003Collection Stefan blessin ... a witty provocateurHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2003Horst Janssen - Caspar David Friedrich and I - Etchings 1973-74 - Hamburger Kunsthalle ,HamburgSolo
2003ART - BLOOM - Images, Graphics and ObjectsGallery Kühn, BerlinGroup
2003The moment is eternityKunsthalle Villa Kobe , Halle, SaaleGroup
2003Great art exhibitionKunsthalle Villa Kobe , Halle, SaaleGroup
2003Artist GalleryGallery Brockstedt, BerlinGroup
2003Working from the possession of the members of the Kunstverein to RostockRostock Kunstverein , RostockGroup
2003Max Schwimmer & Horst Jannsen - Not only EroticaGallery at Sachsenplatz , LeipzigGroup
2002Eros-death-even And MoreGallery germ , StuttgartSolo
2002Aguafuertes - Horst JanssenMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo MAC. Universidad de Chile ,SantiagoSolo
2002Horst Janssen - woman picturesHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
2002Janssen and womenHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2002Ritratto - I trent'anni della galleriaGalleria dell'Incisione , BresciaGroup
2002Timeless ArtBookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
2002Krickelkrakeln + Uhupappen. Drawings, Leporello, collages and objectsHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgGroup
2002The drawingGallery reputation , MunichGroup
2002Contemporary • Classical • Printing GraphicGallery Netuschil , DarmstadtGroup
2002Valuables on the wallBookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
2002Pen-Art: Lines worldsCrypt 182 Kunstverein Bergisch Gladbach , Bergisch GladbachGroup
2002Masters of Etching Black WhiteBookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
2001Horst Janssen - the portraitKallmann Museum , IsmaningSolo
2001Horst Janssen - Laocoon - swallowed up in the branches of treesHamburger Kunsthalle ,HamburgSolo
2001Cat blueHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2001Janssen looks GoyaHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgGroup
2001Selected works - the gallery's artists since 1971Gallery mandrel , StuttgartGroup
2001Group ExhibitionGalleri Haaken , OsloGroup
2001Aspects of Modern 5 decades contemporary artBookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
2001It flies and flies - 4th Annual ExhibitionKunstverein Bad Salzdetfurth eV , BodenburgGroup
2001Totally differentGallery Anne Malchers , Bergisch GladbachGroup
2000I see myself in everything elseHorst Janssen Museum , OldenburgSolo
2000Horst Janssen - Drawings and graphics from the collection of Tete BoettgerThe State Hermitage Museum , St. PetersburgSolo
2000Horst Janssen - EtchingsKunstverein Nürtingen eV , NürtingenSolo
2000Horst JanssenKunsthaus Apolda Avantgarde , ApoldaSolo
2000Horst Janssenbookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimSolo
2000Horst Janssen - Early LithographsHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
2000Horst Janssen Kunstverein Villa Wessel , IserlohnSolo
2000Inventory I 2000Gallery germ , StuttgartGroup
2000Jamiri & Horst Janssen : With a sharp pen ... - Comic BookEtching - Gallery Obrist , foodGroup
2000Classic ModernKUNSTFORUM Seligenstadt eV , Blessed CityGroup
1999The Horst Janssen - Early ChampionshipHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
1999Horst Janssen (1929-1995)Gallery Netuschil , DarmstadtSolo
1999Horst Janssen - Early WorksHeck-Art-Gallery Art eV Chemnitz , ChemnitzSolo
1999Horst Janssen - Águas-FortesCAM - Casa Andrade Muricy , CuritibaSolo
1999Horst Janssen. In dialogue with the collectorGallery Schlichtenmaier, GrafenauSolo
1999CrossoverAnne Moerchen Gallery , HamburgGroup
1999Landscapes - Urban LandscapesGallery Schlichtenmaier, GrafenauGroup
1999Heads and facesGallery Stübler , HannoverGroup
1999Fancy RedGallery Schlichtenmaier, GrafenauGroup
1998Horst Janssen - Tinsdaler lithographsGalerie Friedrich Witzel , FrankfurtSolo
19981970 - Etchings by Horst JanssenHamburger Kunsthalle , HamburgSolo
1998Horst Janssen - Kunstverein Aurich eVArt Pavilion at Ellernfeld , AurichSolo
1998Horst Janssen. Drawings, watercolors, gouaches, etchings and lithographsKunsthalle Emden , EmdenSolo
1997Horst Janssen - PostersKunstverein Plauen-Vogtland , PlauenSolo
1997Horst Janssen - I'm just very eyeKunsthaus Wien , ViennaSolo
1997Horst Janssen: DrawingsKunsthaus Kaufbeuren , KaufbeurenSolo
1996Horst Janssen - grafikai - Szombathelyi KéptárKunsthalle Szombathely , SzombathelySolo
1996Horst Janssen - I'm just very eyeKunsthalle Darmstadt , DarmstadtSolo
1996Janssen Posters: assertions without questionMuseum Folkwang Essen , EssenSolo
1996Horst Janssen - With LichtenbergStädtische Galerie Villa Zanders , Bergisch GladbachSolo
1994Horst Janssen - I'm just very eyeKäthe Kollwitz Museum Berlin , BerlinSolo
1994200. Exhibition of Gallery BoehlerBookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
1994German etchings: 1960sMMCA Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art , ThessalonikiGroup
1994Documenta 9Documenta , KasselGroup
1991Drawings of the 20th century. Karl August Burckhardt-Koechlin Fund 1991Kunstmuseum Basel , BaselGroup
1990World of workNassau Kunstverein , WiesbadenGroup
1989Horst Janssen with Georg Friedrich LichtenbergNassau Kunstverein , WiesbadenGroup
1987Location 1987Pels-Leusden Gallery , BerlinGroup
1987Etchings in the 20th centuryStaatsgalerie Stuttgart , StuttgartGroup
1985Horst Janssen - EtchingsKunstverein Uelzen , UelzenSolo
19851954-1985 - Art in the Federal Republic of GermanyNeue Nationalgalerie , BerlinGroup
1985Xilografia Alemana del Siglo XXFundación Juan March , MadridGroup
1984Horst Janssen: Drawings and EtchingsThe Art Institute of Chicago , Chicago, ILSolo
1984Draftsman in HamburgKunsthalle Bremen , BremenGroup
1984Theater posters today Nassau Kunstverein , WiesbadenGroup
1983Horst Janssen: Drawings and EtchingsUniversity of Iowa Museum of Art , Iowa City, IASolo
1982La Biennale di Venezia: Settore Arti Visive: 1982 La Biennale di Venezia , VeniceGroup
1980Horst Janssen - 100 Original PosterKunstverein Uelzen , UelzenSolo
1980Horst Janssen: Master DrawingsThe Art Institute of Chicago , Chicago, ILSolo
1980Forms of realism today = Formes du réalisme aujourd'huiMusée d'art contemporain de Montréal , Montreal, QCGroup
1979Horst Janssen: Early workKunstverein in Hamburg , HamburgSolo
1977Documenta 6Documenta , KasselGroup
1977Gravures allemandes contemporainesMusée d'art contemporain de Montréal , Montreal, QCGroup
1976The landscape in contemporary art Bookshop and gallery Wolfgang Böhler , BensheimGroup
1976Still life and landscapesLietzow Gallery , BerlinGroup
1974Inventories gallery LietzowLietzow Gallery , BerlinGroup
1970GriffelkunstNassau Kunstverein , WiesbadenGroup
1970Masters of PrintmakingKunstverein in Hamburg , HamburgGroup
1969German Printmaking 1959-1968 Edition Rothe Nassau Kunstverein , WiesbadenGroup
1967Master of drawingKunstverein in Hamburg , HamburgGroup
1967The Artist as His SubjectMoMA - Museum of Modern Art , New York City, NYGroup
1957Colored graphicsNassau Kunstverein , WiesbadenGroup
1956Younger Hamburg painterKunstverein in Hamburg , HamburgGroup
1953Colored Graphics 1953Kunsthalle Bremen , BremenGroup
1953Colored graphicsKunstverein in Hamburg , HamburgGroup