The Genesis of the Kopffüßler

Horst Antes on his 85th birthday

17 October 2021 – 22 May 2022

The Sixties, when Horst Antes’ Kopffüßler (‘Head-Footer’) emerged, was a time of social upheaval. Horst Antes, born in 1936, witnessed the student revolts in Paris and Berlin, the protest of the youth against the contradictions and cover-ups that had not been resolved since the end of fascism, from a distance. As an artist he reacted very clearly to the questioning of the traditional order by re-introducing the figurative into painting that had been dominated by abstraction since the end of World War II.

The ideal-typical appearance of the Kopffüßler was open to many different projections and transcended the recent past and contemporary history. With its large head seen in profile, the nose extending seamlessly from the forehead, the lack of a torso and the legs and feet immediately attached to the head, it is a fantasy figure that, artistically, could be further developed in many directions.

The Franz Marc Museum owes its large and exemplary holdings of works by Horst Antes to the Munich gallery owners Etta and Otto Stangl who represented the artist. As a result, the exhibition does not just show Kopffüßler in many variations but also reflects the friendship between the gallery owners and the artist in the form of cards, letters and sketches from their correspondence.