Black exhibition 2020 DSC 9178 scaled

Hannes Schwarz collection

contemporary art

Hannes Schwarz was one of the most important Styrian artists of the post-war period.

In 1997, the artist Hannes Schwarz donated 24 oil paintings and 68 prints to Admont Abbey. From 2002 to 2019, these works were on display in the former Winter Riding School on the ground floor. From the 2021 season, a selection of works from the Hannes Schwarz Foundation will be on display in a newly adapted section of the Museum of Contemporary Art. This exhibition series will open with the early works of Hannes Schwarz.

042 Admont Abbey ©StefanLeitner LEI7363 e1634722118166
Black Molacek

Hannes Schwarz
(1926 – 2014)

Hannes Schwarz was born in Anger near Weiz in 1926. Due to his artistic talent, he was sent to elite National Socialist schools. 

A book on the life and work of Hannes Schwarz has been published by the abbey shop available: Hannes Schwarz, Inner Journey. The artistic work of Hannes Schwarz in the Benedictine Abbey of Admont. Edited by Abbot Bruno Hubl and Michael Braunsteiner, Admont 2002.

Formative traces

As a student of painting in Stuttgart, he was conscripted into the army in 1944. The atrocities and war mania of the Nazis left deep, life-shaping marks on him. The critical examination of contemporary history became a defining feature of his work.

He began painting again in 1948 and became a fixture on the Graz art scene. He intensively studied the philosophy of existentialism and the Frankfurt School.


World view

His world view is particularly reflected in the lattice paintings from the 1960s. Bars and maltreated human bodies: symbols of the constraints and hopelessness of life. In 1980, a trip to Spain calmed his style. Man disappears, deserted landscapes dominate as symbols of life. In his later work, he finds motifs that evoke cultic and sacred associations. And finally, in his depictions of fruit, his longing for a cautious affirmation of life becomes palpable.