Hannes Harrs, with his European background and schooling, contributed to art in South Africa in a unique way, a contribution that has as yet not been comprehended fully.

His passionate involvement with the Dark Continent dates back to his childhood when an uncle, a ship’s captain, brought him artifacts from Africa, mostly craftwork used in fertility rites and festivals of all kinds. It filled the young artistic soul with wonderment and led to an obsession, which brought him to Africa in the fifties, he then settled in South Africa.

 He traveled extensively in Africa, collecting his own treasures, of which a large number have found a home in museums in Africa and Europe.  

His love for Africa and the artifacts of its people is the centre of Harr’s own creativity. The influences were never superficial or cosmetic as reflected in so many fashionable products flooding galleries and museums at the moment, due to ignorance and a misplaced sense of guilt in the aftermath of colonialism.

Only Hannes’s intellect could absorb the rhythms, colours, textures, and content of Africa and transfigure them meaningfully into universality. Even artists of European extraction, born on the African continent, would not experience Africa in the same way as Hannes Harrs.

It is impossible to erase race memory, from which he derives form and discipline. Combined with fine intellect and highly skilled European craftsmanship plus that inimitable x-quality, the “divine spark”, he creates art.



1969 - Biennale Montecatini


1970 - Biennale Buenos Aires


1972 - Biennale Capri


1972 - Galerie 66, Eckernforde


1973 - World Print Competition, Oakland, California, USA


1974 - Kunsthalle Windhoek, Namibia


1974 - SA Graphics, Wein, Tel Aviv, Israel


1974 - Biennale Segovia


1975 - Galerie Hellhof, Kronberg


1976 - Bavarenhaus, Bonn


1977 - Galerie 66, Eckernforde


1977 - Grand Prix, Monte Carlo


1978 - Galerie Adthaus, Buxtehude


1980 - Carl Lambertz and Schuler, Kiel


1982 - Galerie Hellhof, Kronberg


1984 - Xylon 9, Winterhur


1990 - Heimatmuseum Eckernforde


1990 - Galerie C, Fahrenhorst, Hameln


1991 - 46, Neuer Wall, Hamburg


1991 - Interart, Moskow, Russia


1994 - Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA


1994 - Ubuntu, Preussag-Hannover


1995 - Museum fur Volkerkunde, Hamburg


1995 - Naledi, Deutsche Welle, Koln


1996 - Galerie C, Fahrenhorst, Hameln

1996 - A & M Mediengruppe, Kiel

1999 - Gallery On The Square, Johannesburg, South Africa

2000 - Gallery On The Square, Johannesburg, South Africa

2002 – Gallery On The Square, Johannesburg, South Africa

2003 – ABSA Gallery


Johannesburg Art Gallery

Pretoria Art Gallery

Durban Art Gallery

William Humphrey Gallery, Kimberley

National Gallery, Bloemfontein

Rembrandt  Art Foundation, Stellenbosch

University of the Witwatersrand

Rand Afrikaans University

Stadthale Eckernforde

California College of Arts and Craft, Print Collection, Oakland

Sandton Convention Centre

Cell C

Coetsee Van Rensburg


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