New York Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of new works by Sebastiaan Bremer (Dutch, b. 1970). The show runs through Saturday, 23 April 2011.
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). 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)