HALES GALLERY: LONDON, UK
26 October - 25 November 2006
Hales Gallery is pleased to present KRAAI, Sebastiaan Bremer's first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Sebastiaan Bremer's work originates from snap-shots taken by either him, friends or family, which Bremer enlarges as C-prints. He keeps an archive of these personal photographs and sorts through them to find a suitable image. What is locked in Bremer's memory forms the ground work for each piece of his work.
Once the right image is found, redeveloped and printed to size, Bremer starts to draw intricate webs of small dots with white retouching paint over the photographic surface. Paradoxically this process obscures sections of the original image whilst redefining other parts, adding a new content to each piece. These ethereal drawings change the once familiar image into something more opaque, each thread spreads organically over the surface like the mycelia of a fungal growth creating a sense of decay. Thin washes of coloured India ink are occasionally applied by Bremer creating imagery reminiscent to the colours you see when you close your eyes.
Each piece varies in its level of abstraction. The visceral quality of the work lies in its inventiveness and technical complexity, whilst the compositions created by Bremer have a fine balance between the intricate and bold.
As a Dutch man living and working in New York, Bremer has started to revisit the Golden Age of Dutch painting. Inspired by Vanitas still life of 15th Century Holland and in particular Self portrait with Vanitas Symbols, (David Bailly, 1651), Bremer's abstracted overlay has begun to take on forms. In Portrait in the studio with the window open, a Deer hangs from a butchers hook and a dolls head sits on a table. Like the symbols in the Vanitas paintings, these figurative elements become hints to Bremer's thoughts and feelings about the particular image he is working on. Whether it is a fleeting emotion or a jogged memory, each form brings a new dimension to the work.
Sebastiaan Bremer has recently had solo shows at Roebling Hall, New York City (2006), Radobank Collectie-Gemeente Museum, The Hague 2005 and Air de Paris, Paris (2004). Forthcoming group shows include The Past in the Present (curated by Frank van der Stok) at the Fotomuseum Rotterdam (2008) and The Photograph as Canvas, (curated by Stephan Maine) at The Aldrich Gallery, NY (2007). Bremer has recently been included in The Invisible Museum, (curated by Devon Dikeou) at the Denver Museum (2006), Pin-Up: Contemporary Collage and Drawing, Tate Modern, London (2004) and the Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity, PS1 Contemporary Art Museum, Queens, NY, curated by Bob Nickas (2004).
Sebastiaan Bremer's book Avila is published by Roebling Hall (New York) and 99 Publishers (Haarlem, NL). Authors Russ, S. and Kantor, J.