Hannes Malte Mahler (1968–2016) was an artist who lived and worked in Hanover. He graduated from the Braunschweig University of Art as master student of Marina Abramović. His oeuvre includes drawings, paintings, illustrations, sculptures, installations, performances and photography. As a workaholic bon vivant, he merged art and life into an indivisible unit. Mahler’s backyard studio was a meeting point and a flourishing asset for Hanover’s art scene.

Hannes Malte Mahler was born on 10 June 1968 in Hanover. As the son of a writing teacher mother and painting lawyer father, he sketched and drew incessantly from an early age, filling school and sketchbooks with illustrations. Despite this, after finishing school he started reading economics and then law in Berlin, both for a few terms. His obsession with art remained undiminished. Back in Hanover, he presented his first exhibition in 1992 and, after his community service as a paramedic, studied Fine Art in Braunschweig. In 1999, he graduated with distinction, and from then on called himself ironically a “certified artist”.
As master student for Marina Abramović, Hannes Malte Mahler honed his talent for performances, which were satirical, critical and often very entertaining. One such example is his glitterball shooting which invites the audience to shoot at a decorated Christmas tree with an air rifle, a performance the Sprengel Museum Hannover now hosts annually in his memory. 
“Mahler is an acute observer of the so-called zeitgeist. He sees through all the fashions, habits and crazes of his era and dissects them with his vast humour through words and images.” (Michael Stoeber)
His imagination was boundless: From painting on bulky waste found on the road side or on aeroplane sick bags to drawings around cigar bands, from photography via sculptures and installations to digital drawing and video clips – no genre was off limits. He still drew continuously, including masses of illustrated letters and postcards for his large circle of friends, and “on demand” in live performances, interpreting his spectators’ wishes in most surprising ways.
In 2000, Mahler was awarded the annual scholarship by the State of Lower Saxony.
Later, he was employed as Head of Business Development at a marketing company, not least to financially support his growing number of children, and founded his own design and consultancy company feinkunst. From 2011, he worked as a freelance creative consultant and artist. Mahler’s design and marketing concepts always crossed over into art, such as his campaign “more museum” for the extension building of the Sprengel Museum Hannover. Together with sculptor Hartmut Stielow, he curated art events like “New Art in Old Gardens”. Exploring yet another “canvas” for his designs, he started producing t-shirts for his own fashion label Mahlerwear, claiming “it is art”. 
Like the chameleon he chose as the logo for his Mahlerwear project, he remained adaptable in art as in life, filling diverse roles in a masterly way in various networks, closely binding people to himself and connecting them with one another. His backyard studio feinkunstraum was a hot spot not only for performances and exhibitions but also a meeting point for an astonishing variety of people interested in art and life. 
He created over 1000 paintings and many thousands of photos and drawings. His pictures and performances were shown not only in Germany, but also in Italy, Sweden, the USA and Japan. 
At the age of 48, Hannes Malte Mahler was run over by a tractor on 18 July 2016 while cycling on his racing bike.

Not long before his untimely death, Mahler described himself as follows: 
“Protestant. Single. Five children. College. University. Started economics and law. Paramedic. Certified artist. Photographer. Hunter. Performer. Designer. Consultant. Painter and Draughtsman. This Mahler is a combination of three spheres: Art, design and marketing. These worlds are connected by drawing. Incessant drawing. Drawing is for fun, to gather my thoughts, and occasionally, to earn a little money.”


Mahler’s self-characterisation, 16 February 2016

Hannes Malte Mahler

Expositions and projects


  • Die Erinnerung der Arbeit – Aus den Städtischen Sammlungen Salzgitter, Schloss Salder
  • escapism kiosk selected art models, Köln
  • Dialog・8・– Hachinohe Portal Museum Hacchi, Japan
  • MAHLERWEAR, FINAL GOODS – Kunstverein Hildesheim


  • glitterballshooting – feinkunstraum Hannover
  • »Mahlerwear Flagship Store« – Kunstverein Hannover, Raumstationen, 87. Herbstausstellung niedersächsischer Künstlerinnen und Künstler
  • Mont St. Victoire – Kunsthistorisches Institut der Universität Bonn
  • MONTS MÉTALLIFÈRES – Galerie für Fotografie, Hannover


  • Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern, mit Igor Levit
  • Salon Salder, Neue Kunst aus Niedersachsen, Salzgitter
  • Frauen im Freien – Galerie für Fotografie, Hannover
  • Niedersachsen-Wahl – Kunstverein Kunsthalle Hannover e.V., Kunsthalle Faust


  • glitterballshooting – kestnergesellschaft Hannover
  • Auf besonderen Wunsch einzelner Damen… – feinkunstraum
  • Sprengpunkte und Haftpunkte – Städtische Kunstsammlungen Schloss Salder
  • STILL LIFE – Installation / Utopia Sound – Interventionen, KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen


  • particles rev. – digital interdisciplinations exhibition, Sydney
  • JETLAG – Hannover Messe / Kunsthalle Faust, Hannover
  • Sprengpunkte und Haftpunkte – Kunsthistorisches Institut der Universität Bonn


  • Wandelbar – Agritechnica 2011
  • Baustoffhandel – Sprengel Museum Hannover
  • Angemessene Maßnahmen in allen Bereichen – feinkunstraum


  • Der Punsch in uns allen – Bilder und Ereignisse mit glitterballshooting, Galerie KUB, Leipzig
  • Labor Herrenhausen – Herrenhäuser Gärten
  • Mehr Museum – Sprengel Museum Hannover
  • Salon Salder – Neues aus niedersächsischen Ateliers
  • Neue Kunst in alten Gärten – Lenthe in Gehrden
  • Leinen los! – 85. Herbstausstellung, Hannover
  • Drawing Centrifuge – Location One, New York
  • SHADOW – OMBRE – SCHATTEN – Konschthaus beim Engel, Luxemburg
  • Viridum Video – Herrmanshof, Völksen


  • zeichnend | Das Graphische Werk 1988–2008,
  • Weserburg Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen
  • Wildwuchs, Landesgalerie Hannover (Kurator)


  • zeichnend | Das Graphische Werk 1988–2008,
  • Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Bonn
  • Glitterballshooting, feinkunstraum, Hannover
  • BS-Visite, Braunschweig
  • Neue Kunst in alten Gärten 2008, Lenthe
  • Salon Salder, Salzgitter, 7. Niedersächsische
  • Grafiktriennale, Zeichnung, Holzminden


  • rummel rehearsal, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen
  • feinkunstraum, Hannover
  • rummel, Kubus, Hannover
  • Glitterballshooting, Malkasten, Düsseldorf


  • private domain # studio, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin
  • Ballgefühle – Galerie Vom Zufall und vom Glück, Hannover
  • Memento Mori – Hermannshof, Hannover
  • Mischbrot, Yoghurt und Oliven – Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen
  • Neue Kunst in alten Gärten – Ober- und Untergut Lenthe in Gehrden
  • Heimspiel – 83. Herbstausstellung, Hannover
  • Glauben und Wissen – Galerie der Künstler, München
  • glitterballshooting – Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen


  • private domain # confessional, Mönchehaus Museum, Neujahrsempfang
  • is_art, is energy, Hannover
  • Skulpturenpfad, Weserradwanderweg, Landschaftsverband Hameln Pyrmont
  • remote access, Rubicon Gallery, Dublin, Irland
  • protocol, Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag, 2005
  • Gifted Generation – IPG, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin
  • braunschweig bottling, Allgemeiner Konsumverein, Braunschweig
  • Zug um Zug, Kunstpreis der Sparda-Bank
  • glitterballshooting 2005, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin


  • frauen im freien | females in the fields, Glück21, Berlin
  • Kunstwettbewerb der LBS Nord, Atrien, Einladungswettbewerb, Hannover
  • Die verborgene Tat, Kunstverein Langenhagen
  • Panorama, Kunstverein Hannover, (Herbstausstellung Niedersächsischer Künstler)
  • private domain # salon, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover


  • Die Büchse knallt im Deutschen Wald, Kunstverein Hannover
  • seit August 2003 Lehrauftrag für Freie Grafik / Medien an der Berufsfachschule Hannover für Modedesign und Damenschneiderei
  • daily performance/frauen im freien, Galerie der Niedersächsischen Lottostiftung, Hannover
  • very early performance, pg_lab, Hannover
  • flix_cabinet, Rubicon Callery, Dublin
  • glitterballthrowing, Wohnraumatelier, Hannover


  • centrifuge, Braunschweig, Foyer für junge Kunst
  • perspektiven, Kunstverein Hannover (Herbstausstellung Niedersächsischer Künstler)
  • don, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas
  • TheDeutschlandliedKaraoke – official Mahler education program in Zusammenarbeit mit
  • glitterballshooting, Galerie Drees, Hannover


  • Performance Festival Odense 2001, Odense Dänemark
  • Fotoreisen nach Spanien, Frankreich, Italien
  • marking the territory, Moma, Dublin, Irland


  • Jahresstipendium des Landes Niedersachsen
  • the private domain # drawing, Södertälje (Stockholm), Schweden
  • Launch von
  • a German shopping mall, Hannover
  • mopping up, Performance, Kunstakademie München
  • l.u.a.i.H., Galerie Drees, Hannover
  • 1999/2000 self fulfilling prophecy, HBK Braunschweig, Schauraum (zunächst eigener Beitrag, dann kuratorische Betreuung)


  • Lokalzeit, 1. Biennale Niedersachsen (Kunstverein Hannover), dipplespace
  • unfinished business, Marina Abramovic and students, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin Marina Abramovic, »unfinished business«, (Publikation), Redaktion und Herausgabe
  • to give a place, Galleria Stefania Miscetti, Rom
  • Triple Climax, Kunstverein Hildesheim, (mit Anna Gollwitzer und Annette Hanisch)
  • I perform therefore I am, Vortrag Über daily performance, Stockholm
  • PFO, Performance Festival Odense 1999, Odense (Dänemark)
  • THE CHINA ROOM, Galerie Viktoria Hoffmann, Hannover
  • Diplom mit Auszeichnung und Meisterschülerabschluss
  • fresh air, Marina Abramovic Class, (Weimar 1999-Kulturstadt Europas) Koordination und eigener Beitrag Wolkenkuckuksheim »fresh air«, Marina Abramovic Class (Publikation), Redaktion und Herausgabe
  • retail, Galerie Viktoria Hoffmann, Hannover


  • aus gegebenem Anlass, Kunstkoffer für Gerhard Schröder
  • FINALLY, Kunstverein Hannover mit den Studenten der Klasse Abramovic

Hannes Malte Mahler

Publications (selection)

Hannes Malte Mahler, Frauen im Freien. Females in the Field
Selbstverlag, Hannover, 2014 

Hannes Malte Mahler, Sprengpunkte und Haftpunkte, Stadt Salzgitter, Städtische Kunstsammlungen, 2013
Salon Verlag, Köln, 2013, ISBN 978-3-9816004-0-7

zeichnend drawing | Das Graphische Werk 1988–2008
Herausgegeben von Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Bonnet
Salon Verlag, Köln, 2008, ISBN 978-3-89770-336-0

Hannes Malte Mahlers Glitterballshooting
Salon Verlag, Köln, 2007, ISBN 978-3-89770-297-4

Private domain # studio
performative drawing # drawing performance
Salon Verlag, Köln, 2006, ISBN 3-89770-253-3

Welten ohne Zahl, Salon Verlag, Köln, 2000,
ISBN 3-89770-087-5

unfinished business, Marina Abramovic
Berlin, Salon Verlag, Köln, 1999, ISBN 3-89770-016-6

fresh air
(Weimar 1999-Kulturstadt Europas), Salon Verlag, Köln, 1999,
ISBN 3-89770-025-5

strange home
Salon Verlag, Köln, 2000, ISBN 3-89770-105-7

Welten ohne Zahl
(The ten years of art memory set), Selbstverlag, 1998

Hannes Malte Mahler

Contributions (selection)

Leinen los! - 85. Herbstausstellung niedersächsischer Künstler
Hrsg. Kunstverein Hannover, 2010
ISBN 978-3-934421-19-6

Kunstverein Hannover, 2006
ISBN 3-934421-11-3

Neue Kunst in alten Gärten
Salon Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-89770-234-7

Kunstverein Hannover, 2004, ISBN 3-934421-08-3

Zug und Zug 2005
Kunstpreis der Sparda Bank, 2005

Public Body
Marina Abramovic, Monographie, 2001, Ed. Charta, Milano ISBN 88-8158-295-3

Student Body
Marina Abramovic, Monographie, 2001, Ed. Charta, Milano ISBN 8881584492

arte e naturaleza
NMAC, 2001, ISBN 84-95174-27-8

Kunstverein Hannover, 2002

Image Circle
Hrsg. Peter Bauernschmid für Linhof. Ein Lehr- und Bilderbuch für kreative Fachfotografie

Vergessen, Jahrbuch No. 1 der HBK Braunschweig
Salon Verlag, Köln, 1997, ISBN 3-932 189-87-6

Hannes Malte Mahler