Nikola Irmer

Further Info


Born 1970

In her most recent series of works, Nikola Irmer has concentrated on seemingly forgotten collections of stuffed bird and animal specimens found stored away in many of Europe's natural history museums. She finds it hard to understand why these amazing specimens lead such a reclusive shelf life, and is fascinated by the haphazard arrangements that often result from cramming them together in cupboards. Her paintings give the individual specimens new life.

Her work has also concentrated on specific people or groups of people. Through close interaction with her models, she gains insight into their way of life and reflects this in her paintings - full of intensity and psychology. For example, she accompanied Horst the gay cross-dresser for long periods of time, talked to him, took photographs and made drawings, to capture the essence of the man.

View online pdf catalogue of Promethean Boldness

See Promethean Boldness e-book on iTunes Store

Read Anne James in the Oxford Times

Read Clare Carswell's 'Painting the Spark' essay on Nikola Irmer

Read Clare Carswell's ANTIPHON


2010 3 month stay in Florence 

1995-1998 MFA Hunter College; City University New York

1993-1995 BFA Glasgow School of Art

1992-1993 San Francisco Art Institute

Selected Prizes

2003 Arbeitsstipendium Stiftung Kulturfonds
1997 Travel Grant, Hunter College, New York
1995 Landscape Drawing Prize, Glasgow School of Art

Solo Exhibitions

2011 "Promethean Boldness", HemingwayArt Gallery, Oxford, UK

2010 "Shelf Life", Horton Gallery, project space, Berlin
2010 "Shelf Life", Schaltwerk Kunst, Hamburg
2010 "Blickwechsel", ( with Rupert Eder), Galerie Julia Garnatz, Köln, catalogue

2009 "Thickets", Foyer Space Gallery, Camberwell College of Arts, London, UK
2008 "Horst", apartment, Manchester, Uk
2007 "Boys", axellappprojects,Berlin
2005 "Berliner Bilder", con/temporary, Berlin
2005 "Mauerpark", project space, Art Frankfurt
2004 "Nicht die ganze Wahrheit", K4 galerie, Saarbrücken, catalogue
2004 Kunsthaus Erfurt
2003 "Far from home", Hungarian Embassy, Berlin

Group exhibitions

2009 " Mal was Deutsches", curated by Lioba Reddecker, Hangar 7, Salzburg, Austria, catalogue
2008 "you are living in a space like mine", curated by Knut Eckstein, Kunstfabrik am Flutgraben, Berlin
2008 "Berlin, Du bist so wunderbar...", Kunststiftung Starke, Berlin
2008 "Postcards from Berlin", arttranspennine 08
2008 "Menschen und Orte", curated by Axel Lapp, 150 Jahre Kunstverein Konstanz, catalogue
2007 "Review", axellappprojects, Berlin
2006 "Happy Birthday", Kunsthaus Erfurt, catalogue
2006 "Das Große im Kleinen", K4 galerie, Saarbrücken
2005 "Realität und Geheimnis", Galerie Epikur, Wuppertal, catalogue
2005 "Aus der Serie", K 4 galerie, Saarbrücken
2003 "Why can"t I be you?", Galerie Paula Böttcher, Berlin
2002 "Second Sight", Times Square Gallery, New York City, catalogue
2001 "Three Painters", Intermedia Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland
1999 "Portrait". AU Base Gallery, New York City


2002-04 "Far from home" project and exhibition in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary, Berlin


2010 "Blickwechsel", Hg. Guido Schlimbach, Galerie Julia Garnatz
2009 "Mal was Deutsches", hrsg. basis Wien
2008 Maureen Ward: "Nikola Irmer: Horst" in: a-n magazine, September Issue 2008, p.17
2008 "Menschen und Orte. Eine Ausstellung zum 150-jährigen Jubiläum des Kunstvereins Konstanz, THE GREEN BOX Kunst Editionen, Berlin
2008 Maureen Ward,"Nikola Irmer - Horst",
2007 LE MONDE diplomatique, December 2007
2006 Cat.: "Happy Birthday", Kunsthaus Erfurt
2005 Nikola Irmer , "Personals", bruno dorn verlag
2002 Cat.: "Second Sight", Times Square Gallery, New York City
2000 Cat.: "Nikola Irmer", Kunsthaus Erfurt