Actor Armin Mueller-Stahl will be guest at the 43rd Karlovy Vary IFF. Then on July 6th the Karlovy Vary Art Gallery will host a gala opening of his paintings, at which time the actor will accept Prize of the town Karlovy Vary.

    The well-known actor is returning to the Karlovy Vary festival after 11 years: in 1997 he was a guest at the 32nd KVIFF. Some may even remember a visit the young artist made to the festival in 1962.

    An internationally renowned actor and director, Armin Mueller-Stahl (b. 1930) hails from the Prussian city of Tilsit. His acting career began in Berlin, where his parents moved after the war. Following a short stint as a music teacher, he accepted his first engagement in 1952 at Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. During the 1960s and 1970s he was one of the most sought after film and television stars in East Germany. But he was blacklisted after signing a petition in support of politically persecuted singer Wolfgang Biermann; in 1979 Mueller-Stahl emigrated to West Berlin. Despite the change of conditions, his career flourished, especially after he made a splash in Hollywood as one of a handful of continental actors. His rich filmography includes work with Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Lola, 1981; Veronika Voss, 1982), Andrzej Wajda (A Love in Germany, 1983), and Istvan Szabo (Colonel Redl, 1984). In the USA he has worked with Costa-Gavras (Music Box, 1989), Jim Jarmusch (Night on Earth, 1991), and Bille August (The House of the Spirits, 1995), among others. David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises (2007) was his most recent film to screen in Czech theaters. In 1996 he stood on both sides of the lens in Conversation with the Beast (Gespraech mit dem Biest), directing himself in the role of Adolf Hitler according to his own script. Germany is currently awaiting the premiere of a new adaptation of Thomas Mann's novel Buddenbrooks (directed by Heinrich Breloer) with Mueller-Stahl as the central character Johann "Jean" Buddenbrook.

    He has received several prestigious awards for acting, including a Silver Bear at the 1992 Berlinale for the title role in the drama Utz (shot partially in Prague) and an Oscar nomination for portraying the father in Shine (1996).

    The exhibition entitled Armin Mueller-Stahl: M E N S C H E N B I L D E R (PAINTINGS OF PEOPLE) will run at the Karlovy Vary Art Gallery from July 6 to September 5, 2008. Although he has exhibited paintings, drawings, and graphics at numerous galleries and museums in the United States, Italy and, above all, his native Germany, the exhibition represents an exclusive, first-time showing of Armin Mueller-Stahl's work in the Czech Republic. The Karlovy Vary exhibition will reveal him to be a fine artist who cannot be pigeonholed into the popular category of "painting actors." The maturity of his artistic expression, his marked originality, consummate pictorial shorthand, and perfectly mastered graphic technique testify to a highly gifted artist of exceptional passion and long experience. The Karlovy Vary exhibition of 25 medium- and large-scale paintings will be rounded out by several dozen drawings, sketches, prints, and works of combined techniques, with subjects drawn from the world of film ("Night on Earth, Day on Earth," "Utz") and theater ("Three Sisters," "Urfaust"), as well as portraits of composers ("Antonin Dvorak," "Peter Tchaikovsky," "Franz Schubert"), painters ("Lukas Cranach," "Leonardo da Vinci," "Titian"), writers ("John Steinbeck") and philosophers ("Friedrich Nietzsche"). This generous exhibition has been prepared by the Karlovy Vary Art Gallery in cooperation with Kunsthaus Lubeck. The event has been organized as part of "Spolecnc-Miteinander," a Czech-German multicultural project.