Made for Admont
It was in 1997 that Admont Abbey began to assemble its collection of contemporary art. And this collection has continued to grow to the present day through acquirements from galleries, other collections, the artists themselves, through donations and endowments. Within a very short time, a new situation developed as a result of the close and long term contacts that had been formed, primarily with the artistic community within Austria.
In 2000 – even before the new museum was opened – Lois Renner, at that time considered ‘Austria’s most avant-garde painter’, was retained as the first artist in residence at Admont Abbey. This represented, as it were, an experimental pilot project. Renner took the opportunity to introduce into the Abbey his installation ‘Festung’, a 1:10 scale model of his own artist’s studio, a work that is now part of the Abbey’s collection. He recorded images of it in its new environment where he was able to juxtapose it in contrast with the Abbey Library and its books, the works of the sculptor Josef Stammel and other artworks from the Abbey’s own art depository. This dialogue between different worlds and their interaction over a period of several weeks generated a series of artworks in which two conflicting areas that are not so readily reconcilable were constructively combined to create a whole new outlook.
This was the point at which the MADE FOR ADMONT project came into being. Artists have since been regularly invited to create new works for the collection. In some cases, the monks of Admont have themselves served as artists’ ‘models’ (for Judith Huemer, Erwin Wurm and Konrad Rainer for instance).
There is also a particularly unusual feature that forms part of this project. Since 2001, Admont Abbey has commissioned 27 artists to create works for its special collection ‘BEYOND SEEING – art that brings together the blind and the sighted’; these are artworks that can be appreciated by blind, visually impaired and sighted visitors. Our ‘Artistic Intervention’ event that has been organised more or less annually since 2003 in the Museum of Fine Arts is also evidence of our continuing interest in the world of contemporary art.