Antonius Höckelmann (1937–2000) ranks among the most extraordinary German artists of his generation. Having trained as a wood sculptor in his home town Oelde/Westphalia, he studied in Berlin and subsequently spent three decades in Cologne where he was actively involved in the Rhineland’s art world. His works were not only put on show at the documenta 6 and 7, but also presented in the 1980s alongside paintings by fellow artists such as Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz, and A. R. Penck in the leading German exhibitions of the time.
Höckelmann’s drawings and sculptures – made of wood, plaster, polystyrene, aluminum, or bronze – combine abstract, organic forms and figurative motifs. They are characterized by exceptionally vivid surfaces and dynamic lines that give rise to fantastical, mysterious visual worlds where non-representational and figurative forms merge into intense compositions.
This publication is devoted to Höckelmann’s last series of works titled Versuchung des heiligen Antonius (Temptation of St. Anthony). The author and collector Hartmut Kraft meticulously documented the gradual development of the wood relief for more than one and a half years and leads the reader into the artist’s studio for a close-up view. Together with his own notes chronicling the creative process in a diary-like fashion, Hartmut Kraft provides a truly unique glimpse into Höckelmann’s way of working, his artistic approach, and his interaction with gallery owners and art collectors.