(German, 1929–1995) was a prominent draftsman, printmaker, and illustrator. Born in Hamburg, Janssen attended the Landeskunstschule, where he studied under graphic artist Alfred Mahlau
. In 1947, Janssen published his first drawing, which appeared in the national newspaper Die Zeit
. He also published several children’s books.
In the 1950s, he began experimenting with lithography and woodcutting, influenced by the work of Edvard Munch
. Around the same time, Janssen was commissioned by paper manufacturer Guido Dessauer to create a portrait of his father-in-law, which enabled the artist to create lithographs using the technology available to him at Dessauer’s factory. Janssen made large-format woodcuts in color, fusing Expressionist and Surrealist influences. He gained recognition, and, in 1957, had an exhibition in Hanover at the Hans Brockstedt Gallery. Following this show, he changed his focus to etching, studying with Paul Wunderlich
, and his works displayed influences of Art Brut and Jean Dubuffet
In 1964, Janssen was awarded the Darmstadt Art Prize. In 1965, a retrospective of his drawings and graphic works was held at the Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hanover. He also received Hamburg’s Edwin-Scharff-Prize in 1966. Two years later, he was awarded first prize for graphic art at the Venice Biennale.
His success continued into the 1970s. In 1975, he won the Schiller Prize of the city of Mannheim, where an exhibition of his drawings was held in 1976. In 1977, his work was shown at the documenta VI in Kassel.
Janssen died of a stroke at the age of 65, and was buried in the Gertruden-Graveyard in Oldenburg.
Over the course of his career, Janssen’s work was show internationally, in Basel, London, Olso, New York Chicago, Barcelona, and Japan, among others. In 2000, the Horst Janssen Museum opened in Oldenburg.