Sebastiaan Bremer works added to the Dikeou Collection, and hands-on family workshop – Denver, CO

April 4th, 2013 by

Sebastiaan Bremer, “Schöner Götterfunken VII,” joyful, as his suns are flying (froh, wie seine sonnen fliegen), 2011, courtesy of the Dikeou Collection and the artist

April 6, 2013, 12-4pm

The Dikeou Collection is pleased to announce the acquisition of two works by Dutch photographer Sebastiaan Bremer. In conjunction with Denver’s Month of Photography, a hands-on art workshop will be held at the Dikeou Collection Pop-Up Space at 1331 Bannock Street, Denver, Colorado 80204, on Saturday, April 6, 2012, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. This workshop will focus on Bremer’s unique style of photo alteration, and materials will be provided for participants to paint, draw, and etch upon a variety of vintage photographs to create their own Bremer-inspired artwork. This event is free to attend and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided and music will be played from our extensive vintage vinyl archive.

The Dikeou Collection Pop-Up Space
1331 Bannock Street
Denver, CO 80204
Tel.: 303-623-3001

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New editions by Sebastiaan Bremer available at the Lower East Side Printshop – New York City

October 9th, 2012 by

Sebastiaan Bremer, “To Joy: Universal Time Machine,” 2012, archival inkjet, hand painting, and collage, 36 x 36 inches, edition of 10, courtesy of the Lower East Side Printshop and the artist

From October 10, 2012

The Lower East Side Printshop is pleased to announce the publication of four new editions by the acclaimed artist Sebastiaan Bremer. The suite “To Joy” was inspired by Schiller’s “Ode To Joy.” Bremer used 1972 family photographs to digitally manipulate, saturate the colors, and make the atmosphere even more “joyous” than it already was.

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Sebastiaan Bremer solo exhibition at Edwynn Houk Gallery – New York City

February 23rd, 2011 by

Sebastiaan Bremer, Cat and Sleeping Puppy in the Atelier, 2011, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

March 3 – April 23, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, March 3, 2011, 6-8pm

Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Sebastiaan Bremer: Nudes and Revolutions, with new works by Sebastiaan Bremer (Dutch, b. 1970).

Bremer’s technique is novel and utterly hybrid. Using various inks, he draws directly on slightly blurry c-print enlargements of photographs, and often adds splotches and streaks of photographic dye. Almost always, the underlying photographic images have much to do with personal and family history; a best friend from Bremer’s teenage years, a shot of himself as a kid, a view of a room taken from under his grandmother’s piano, his family on vacation, a former girlfriend. These are the unpretentious snapshot images, the family album images, the photographic mementoes of a life that Bremer meticulously and obsessively draws on. So meticulously, in fact, and with such fine, tiny lines that you figure he either uses a magnifying glass or is in a trance (neither is the case).

Sebastiaan Bremer, Waterfall, 2008-2011, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

In some of Bremer’s works the underlying image is quite clear, while in others it’s almost totally obscured, but in any event one sees it through a scrim or a veil of intense surface activity, which can be at once elaborately ornamental, psychedelic, playful (replete with suggestions of doodling), turbulent, and downright magical. Always, Bremer’s found photographs become dreamlike and fantastical, and two opposite impulses are fused; documentation and hallucination. Moreover, while Bremer admits to a high level of automatism in devising his drawings, you also sense that this automatism involves a great deal of complex human feeling, ranging from harrowing fears and losses to whimsy and blissful response. (Excerpted from "The more you look, the more you see" by Gregory Volk, 2004)

Sebastiaan Bremer, The Second Doll, 2010, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

Utilizing the artist’s signature style of obsessively applied dots of paint onto a photographic surface, Bremer renders his subjects in breathtaking detail. Ranging in theme from nudes to landscapes, still life to family, and finally, to revolution, the uniting element here is the artist’s capability to combine imagery from art of the Dutch Golden Age (which surrounded him during his youth in Amsterdam) with the seductive, dream-like abstractions that he lays over the glossy surfaces of his appropriated photographs.

Sebastiaan Bremer, Judith’s Anatomy Lesson, 2011, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

In the work "The Small Second Doll, 2010" Bremer re-photographed a 19th Century photograph by George Hendrik Breitner from the Rijksmuseum’s archive. Breitner was a painter who worked in a style similar to Rembrandt, where women were depicted realistically fleshy and imperfect. Breitner took the original photograph to be he used as a reference for his own painting. Sebastiaan Bremer, in turn, re-photographed the Breitner photo, and painted a nude torso derived from the Rembrandt etching Negress Lying Down, 1658, over the nude model in the original photograph, thus creating a strangely surreal, Bellmer-esque composition of intrigue and fantasy.

Sebastiaan Bremer, Festival (after Festival of the Supreme Being by Naudet), 2011, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

Sebastiaan Bremer lives and works in New York. He studied at the Vrije Academie, The Hague, and Skowhegan School of Art and Sculpture, Maine. He has published two major catalogs: Monkey Brain (2003), and Avila (2006). His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among many others.

Sebastiaan Bremer, Susanna Surprised by the Elders, 2011, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

Edwynn Houk Gallery
745 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10151

Tel.: 212-750-7070

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Sebastiaan Bremer in group exhibition at Edwynn Houk Gallery – New York City

January 27th, 2011 by

Sebastiaan Bremer, Pork Chops with Peas and French Fries, 2002, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

January 27 – February 26, 2011

Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition, “Process.” The exhibition features work by: Sebastiaan Bremer, Christopher Bucklow, Lynn Davis, Susan Derges, Lalla Essaydi, Adam Fuss, Richard Learoyd, Vera Lutter, Sally Mann, Joel Meyerowitz, Abelardo Morrell, Vik Muniz, Robert Polidori, Thomas Ruff and Victor Schrager.

In light of the extraordinary wealth of technology available to contemporary artists, this exhibition addresses the recent shift in the public’s perception of what constitutes a photograph and explores the techniques utilized by some of today’s leading photographers. From the advent of photography, it was generally assumed that a photograph was a mechanical record of what the artist saw in reality, but it did not take long for photographers to start to disrupt that notion and draw attention to the idea of stopping time, distorting the image, staging the scene, or making substantial changes in the darkroom.

Sebastiaan Bremer, Dead Sea Tobias, 2010, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

Although art audiences have been able to observe and understand those nuances over time, the quick rise in technology and the multitude of options has caused some confusion about how contemporary works are made and how to describe the medium. In the making of photographs today, each artist is able to choose which technique will be most suitable for their particular artwork. Some artists choose to work very traditionally, while some incorporate certain aspects of digital technology, and other artists might use exclusively digital techniques. And at the same time, there are a number of artists who still utilize 19th century processes for creating their work.

For each object chosen for this exhibition, the technique will be explained and discussed in detail, so that the viewer will be able to learn about some of the various processes, and then be able to start asking the larger questions of why the artist chose this process and what the technique signifies in the broader scope of the artist’s career and the greater history of the medium.

Sebastiaan Bremer, Moonlit Landscape, 2010, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

About Sebastiaan Bremer

Sebastiaan Bremer is renowned for transforming ordinary snapshots into grandly baroque and surreal tableaux by a careful process of retouching and enlargement. Since his first solo show, in 1994, he has exhibited in venues such as the Tate Gallery, London, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, and the Aldrich Museum, Connecticut. He has been based in the United States since 1992.

Although Bremer has always been interested in photography, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that he began to draw directly on the surface of photographs. He has been inspired in part by nineteenth century spirit photography, and fin de siècle Symbolists such as the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and painter Odilon Redon, but his methods partake of advanced photographic techniques. Often he will begin with a simple snapshot of friends or family or familiar places, and after enlarging it far beyond conventional dimensions, he will begin altering and embellishing the image with India ink and photographic dye. He has often used the ink to produce fine patterns of lines reminiscent of cobwebs, or readings from seismographs. Photographic dyes also enable him to blur and mute some forms while accentuating others, and make some colors bloom while others recede into mysterious darkness. The result is an image that seems to literally vibrate with hidden consequence, as if the subject matter has sent cracks across the surface of the picture. Whilst Bremer’s choice of images inevitably grounds his work in his own biography, his imagery also makes reference to alchemy, art, and the occult, establishing unexpected connections between ordinary life, history, and the unconscious.

Sebastiaan Bremer, The Small Second Doll, 2010, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery and the artist

Sebastiaan Bremer lives and works in New York. He studied at the Vrije Academie, The Hague, and Skowhegan School of Art and Sculpture, Maine. He has worked as a curator, and also as a producer for artists such as Inez van Lamsweerde, Vinoodh Matadin, and Liza May Post. He has published two major catalogs: Monkey Brain (2003), and Avila (2006). His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Edwynn Houk Gallery
745 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10151

Tel.: 212-750-7070

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Sebastiaan Bremer in group exhibition at Lu Magnus – New York City

January 14th, 2011 by

Sebastiaan Bremer, Dead Sea Tobias, 2010, courtesy the artist

January 14 – February 13, 2011

Lu Magnus kicks off the new year with What The Thunder Said, an exhibition showcasing an international group of artists – Agathe de Bailliencourt, Jay Battle, Sebastiaan Bremer, Nathalie Frank, Grupo Corpo, Fawad Khan, Nathaniel Rackowe, and Jean-Pierre Roy – whose practices reconcile both the emotional and intellectual aspects of the artist’s being, and in doing so, define a new world.

The title What The Thunder Said comes from T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land. Written in 1922, The Waste Land is a masterpiece in Modern literature that redefines poetry and Victorian literary ideals with Eliot’s new vocabulary, style and structure. The poem is divided into five parts, the fifth of which is entitled What The Thunder Said. Not only does this fifth and final part of the poem delve into destruction and rebirth, it also makes us question what we all learnt from the preceding storm. Consequently, the artists in the show reconcile the heart and mind in order to transcend to another level. They have refined their own vocabulary to capture their transformed world.

About Sebastiaan Bremer
Using his personal and found photographs as starting point, Sebastiaan Bremer adds a visceral layer of paint and acrylic dots, resulting in a transmogrification of reality and memory. Drawing upon the Golden Age of Dutch tradition of painting, his work tackles the uncertainty between the real and the imagined. Historical fact and remembered impressions converge into a new reality and escapism. Sebastiaan Bremer was born in 1970 in Amsterdam and currently resides in New York.

Lu Magnus Laboratory + Salon
55 Hester Street

New York, NY 10002

Tel.: 212-677-6555

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Sebastiaan Bremer solo exhibition at BravinLee Programs – New York City

September 17th, 2009 by

September 17 – October 17, 2009

BravinLee programs presents Sebastiaan Bremer’s first exhibition at the gallery. The title of the show, Panta Rei, refers to the concepts in the philosophy of Heraclites the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher and his observations of nature and flow–that the universal invariable is that everything changes all the time.

An integration of artistic practices, Bremer reinforces the separate aesthetics of drawing and photography by applying paint to the surface of photographs, creating an ethereal atmospheric shimmering skein over a semi-representational photo-based image. The organic networks of pointillist dots and linear graphic activity intermingle with the photographic ground in a dreamy in-between condition.

Roberta Smith wrote in The New York Times about Bremer’s work, “The charge the atmosphere and thicken the plot, sometimes almost beyond recognition, creating the effect of wind currents across images of trees or filling domestic interiors with hints of playful sprites or veils of Havisham-like cobwebs.”

Sebastiaan Bremer was born in The Netherlands in 1970. He currently lives and works in New York. His work is included in many museum collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum; London, The Museum of Modern Art; New York, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Zabludowicz Trust; London, The Rabobank Collection; The Netherlands, Lodeveans Contemporary LLP; London, and The Berger Collection, Zurich.

His work has been exhibited at museums including The Tate Modern, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Aldrich Museum, PS1/MoMA and The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. He shows at Hales Gallery in London and Barbara Thumm in Berlin.

BravinLee Programs
526 West 26th Street, Suite 211
New York, NY 10001
Tel.: 212-462-4404

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