Presently regarded as one of Germany's most influential artists, Horst Antes studied printmaking techniques under HAP Grieshaber at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Karlsruhe, from 1957 to 1959. His first published works of original graphic art were created in 1962 and since that date his lithographs and engravings have been exhibited throughout the world. In 1965, Horst Antes began his teaching career at the Akademie, Karlsruhe. He became a professor of art at this institution in 1967 and, apart from accepting other teaching posts and commissions for his art, he remained there until his retirement in 2000.
Beginning around 1960, Horst Antes introduced a personal, unique universe of constructed beings. These now famous forms were termed, “Kopffussler”, because their heads and limbs almost eliminated their torsos. Horst Antes explained that these strange forms owed their genesis to the Kachina dolls of the American Pueblo Indians and to the psychological interpretations of Carl Gustav Jung in regards to them. In any case these Kopffussler beings are so remarkably intense that their surreal existence rings true. Antes remarks, “They walk to the right and to the left. Even when they stand still, they usually stand in profile. They are on the move, alone or in pairs. But to them it may seem that they are standing still and it is the observer who is moving past their single eye -- pair of eyes -- which stares fixedly out from the picture.
One of his most important role models was Willem de Kooning. Around 1960 Antes discovered his 'Kopffüßler' (literal translation: Head-Footer), a form which preoccupied the artist in numerous variations and artistic techniques. By 1963 his 'Kopffüßler' was fully developed in its stylistic and contextual premises and became also compulsory for his sculptural work, which began the very same year. The artist was given several scholarships and awards in the 1960s, including the Villa-Romana-Prize in Florence in 1962 and the Villa Massimo scholarship in Rome in 1963. Three years later, aged only 29, Antes accepted a teaching post at the Akademie in Karlsruhe. This was followed by a post as a professor also in Karlsruhe which he held from 1967 to 1973, as well as a one-year guest-professorship at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin. The artist resumed teaching at the Akademie in Karlsruhe in 1984 and continued teaching there for another 16 years. The regional capital awarded him the Hans-Molfenter-prize in 1989.
Since 1990 Antes has been living and working in Karlsruhe, Florence and Berlin. His oeuvre includes not only paintings and graphic art, but also sculptures in public spaces. His works are exhibited throughout the world and are represented in all the most important German collections, et al. at the Kunsthall Hamburg, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Nationalgalerie Berlin, and the Museum of Modern Art.