Jerzy Skolimowski’s painting in Berlin.

Press release, 15.02.2023


Jerzy Skolimowski’s painting in Berlin.

Between 16 and 25 February, Jerzy Skolimowski – whose film “EO” is nominated for an Oscar for best international film at the 95th Academy Awards – will exhibit his paintings in two galleries in the German capital: the nüüd gallery and the Polish Institute Gallery.

“An Oscar nomination makes the interest in an artist go viral, and when it comes to Jerzy Skolimowski, we have an artist whose international career is not only already well-established, but also widely recognized. Therefore, I am all the more pleased that international audiences will now get the chance to see his other side – Skolimowski, the painter. As the artist admits, painting is the kind of creative that gives him truly unfettered freedom. Through seeing his paintings – intriguing, disturbing, captivating – we can encounter Skolimowski’s sensitivity and imagination in a way that both complements and puts in context our analysis of his cinematic imagination – emphasises Barbara Schabowska, Director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

The first exhibition of Skolimowski’s work took place in 1996 and Jack Nicholson is among the collectors of his work. In interviews, Skolimowski admits that he paints with anything he can get his hands on and describes the creative process as a constant struggle. His abstract works are often spontaneous, and the artist very clearly separates film and painting. His last exhibition focused on contemporary threats, the environment, and the impending climate catastrophe.

“I’ve been drawing since childhood and started using paints as a teenager. But the turning point was the impulsive decision to paint in large format. In 1997, I created Agony – it measured 252 × 126 centimetres. For the next few years, I painted over the same size of plywood boards, and then I switched to canvas, gradually increasing the size, almost to match the size of a film screen: 3 × 5 metres,” Skolimowski recalls.

Thanks to his dedication and skill, Skolimowski mastered various art forms, but admits that it is painting that gives him what is most important for every artist – “In painting, everything is allowed.”

The exhibition of 24 paintings by Jerzy Skolimowski is among the events accompanying the Berlinale.

“Jerzy’s painting is a painting of emotions and the given moment. Through dynamic and intense painterly gestures, he constructs epic meanings. In his paintings, some see sorrow, and others – hope, but everyone remembers it” – says Marcin Fedisz, the exhibition’s curator.

The exhibition is organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Polish Institute in Berlin, Opera Gallery at Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, and the nüü gallery.

The nüü gallery was founded in 2016 by Henner Merle as an art project space. It represents painters, sculptors, and photographers, and organizes exhibitions and support programmes.

The Polish Institute in Berlin is an institution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland tasked with promoting Polish culture in Germany and building interest in all aspects of Polish history and tradition. The Institute also runs the Polish Institute Gallery and the Library.


Media Contact

Klaudiusz Gomerski

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The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a national cultural institution established in 2000 with the aim of building lasting interest in Polish culture around the world in cooperation with foreign partners and through international cultural exchange in dialogue with recipients, in line with Polish foreign policy. Over the last 20 years, the Institute has completed projects in over 70 countries on 6 continents. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is promoted by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.