Biography

Sebastiaan Bremer’s artistic career spans across disciplines and media, but he has become particularly renowned for his ability to transform pre-existing images into ornate, dreamlike tableaux through a careful process of enlargement and intricate hand painting that results in completely unique works.

The use of found imagery as a basis to explore ideas about time and memory has long been central to Bremer’s practice, and in the late 1990s he began experimenting with drawing directly onto the surface of photographs. Initially working with snapshots of family members or familiar places, Bremer developed his signature technique of printing the pictures in an enlarged format—well beyond conventional dimensions—and then altering and embellishing the underlying scene with delicate patterns of dots and strokes using India ink and photographic dye, or applying splashes of paint.

Over the past decades, Bremer has used this approach to create a progression of distinct bodies of work, expanding the scope of his source materials from purely personal moments to an array of images that have captured his imagination or held significance in his life. These range from adaptations of Rembrandt etchings to Brassaï’s photographs of Picasso’s studio and Bill Brandt’s series of close-up images of his famous subjects’ eyes, as well as the vintage lithographic flower prints used in Bremer’s Bloemen series.

Whether starting from the work of an iconic artist or revisiting his own family albums, Bremer’s choice of visual documents is rooted in his biography. Hints of his native Holland permeate his work, from his appreciation of the way light falls across a room reminiscent of a Vermeer interior to the exquisitely painted addition of a pointillist feather or flowers to a contemporary photograph that transports the viewer to the world of Dutch Old Master paintings. In engaging with images of others, he is constantly investigating his own memories and thoughts, weaving a dialogue between the underlying photograph and the marks he uses to transform but never completely obscure it, thus creating a physical representation of the confluence of our inner and outer lives.

Sebastiaan Bremer studied at the Vrije Academie, The Hague and Skowhegan School of Art and Sculpture, Maine. The artist currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been the subject of three major catalogs: Monkey Brain (2003), Avila (2006), and To Joy (2015), and has been exhibited in such venues as the Tate Gallery, London; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; The Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; and the Aldrich Museum, Connecticut. Bremer’s work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

CV

General

Born 1970, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York

Education

  • 1998 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, USA
  • 1989-1991 Vrije Academie, The Hague, NL

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2020 Nocturne, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, USA
  • 2018 Here Comes The Sun, Hales Gallery, London, UK
  • 2017 Sebastiaan Bremer: Ave Maria, Edwyn Houk Gallery, New York, NY, USA
    Sanctuary 21C, 21C Museum Hotel, Nashville, TN, USA
    Sanctuary, The San Damiano Mission, New York, NY, USA
  • 2016 Recording Studio A, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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  • 2015 Street called straight, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL
    Spilaio, Hales Gallery, London, UK
  • 2014 MOCA Bas-Relief (Mike-Papa-Bravo), MOCA Tucson, AZ, USA
  • 2013 Sebastiaan Bremer, The Dikeou Collection, Denver, CO, USA
    Sebastiaan Bremer, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, USA
    Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue, Galeria Leme, São Paulo, BR
  • 2012 Eyes, Edwynn Houk Gallery, Zurich, CH
    Egmont Revisited, Hales Gallery, London, UK
  • 2011 Nudes and Revolutions, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, USA
  • 2010 Invasões Holandesas, Galeria Leme, Sao Paulo, BR
  • 2010 Baruch In the Sky with Diamonds, mural at Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, NL
  • 2009 Small Wonders, Hales Gallery, London, UK
    Panta Rei, BravinLee Programs, New York, USA
    Dream a Little Dream of Me, Het Vijfde Seizoen, Den Dolder, NL
    Triptych, James Fuentes LLC, New York, USA
    Microkosmos, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, DE
  • 2008 Solo Project, Volta Halle, Hales Gallery, Basel, CH
    Cold Turkey, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, DE
  • 2006 Sebastiaan Bremer, Roebling Hall, New York, USA
    Kraaij, Hales Gallery, London, UK
  • 2005 Sub Neblina Use Luz Baixa, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, NL
    Sebastiaan Bremer, Galica, Milan, IT
  • 2004Seething, Lying And Other Works, Satellite, New York, USA
    Monkey, Air de Paris, Paris, FR
  • 2003 Sebastiaan Bremer, Galleri S.E, Bergen, NO
    Sebastiaan Bremer, 303 Gallery at White Box, New York, USA
    Vanishing Point, Roebling Hall, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    You’ve Made Your Mother Cry, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, DE
  • 2002 Janus, Schaper Sundberg Gallery, Stockholm, SE
    Sebastiaan Bremer,” Ybakatu Gallery, Curitiba, BR
  • 2001 Veronica, Roebling Hall, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Sebastiaan Bremer, curated by Thomas Nordanstad, Hotel Lydmar, Stockholm, SE
  • 2000 Melanchromia, Ybakatu Gallery, Curitiba, BR
  • 1994 Sebastiaan Bremer, Gallery Reisel, Rotterdam, NL

Group Exhibitions (Selection)

  • 2020 Life During Wartime: Art in the time of the Coronavirus, Curated by Christian Viveiros-Faune, USFCAM, FL, USA
    You, Me and Everyone Else, Sabrina/Marani, Madrid, Spain
  • 2019 Christmas, Bravin Lee Programs, New York, NY, USA2018 The Femine Ideal/The Ideal Femine? Winston Wachter New York, NY, USA
  • 2017 Zwanzig, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, Germany
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  • 2015 Blueprint, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, USA
  • 2014 ALTERED: Appropriation and Photography, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, USA
    Blueprint, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, NL and MOCA Tucson, AZ
  • 2013 Wonderkamers, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, NL
    Vitalic, Hales Gallery, London, UK
  • 2012 Photography is Magic!, Daegu Photo Biennale, Daegu, KR
  • 2011 September, Rabo Art Collection, Utrecht, NL
    Ultrasonic VI: Appropriate, Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA, USA
    Intersection: Photography / Painting / Document, Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA
    Outdoor Excursions, curated by Gregory Volk, Burlington Fire House Gallery, Burlington, VT, USA
    Contemporary Magic: A Tarot Deck Art Project, Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, USA 2011 Process, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, USA
    Off Camera, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, USA
    What the Thunder said, Lu Magnus, New York, NY, USA
  • 2010 Dirty Messy Painting, Roos Arts, Rosendale, NY, USA
    Heads or Tails, Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY, USA
    The Pencil of Nature, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, USA
    Anti-Trend, Lu Magnus (curated by Amelia Abdullahsani, Sarvia Jasso, and Kathy Garcia), New York, NY, USA Contemporary Magic: A Tarot Deck Art Project, National Arts Club, New York, USA
    A Touch of Dutch, DZ BANK Kunstammlung, Frankfurt, DE
    In a Paperweight, Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago, USA
    Phantoms, Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York, USA
  • 2009 Kings County Biennial, curated by James Fuentes, Dustin Yellin and Charlotte Kidd, Kidd Yellin Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Works on Paper, Danese Gallery, New York, USA
    Redefining Landscape, Stephane Simoens Gallery, Knokke, BE
    Contemporary Collage, curated by Jill Olm, Foster Gallery, University of Winsconsin, USA
    Obsession: Contemporary Art from the Lodeveans Collection, curated by Layla Bloom, University of Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, UK
    Re-Accession: For Sale by Owner, curated by Philae Knight and Amanda Stack, FLAG Art Foundation, New York, USA
    Through a Glass, Darkly, Pablo’s Birthday, New York, NY, USA
    Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, USA
    Deviate, Schroeder-Romero, New York, USA 2009 “Human. Nature. Machine. Wonderland Art Space, Copenhagen, DK
    Contemporary Art and Portraiture, Cristin Tierney Fine Art Advisory Services, New York, NY, USA
    Drawings, curated by Jimi Billingsley, Pablo’s Birthday, New York, NY, USA
    PS: Parsing Spirituality, curated by Micaela Giovannotti, Affirmation Arts, New York, NY, USA
  • 2008 When it’s a photograph, curated by Soo Kim, Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
    Multiverse, curated by Pilar Tompkins, Claremont Museum of Art, Claremont, CA, USA
    Tales of Flames, Kunstraum Kreuzberg,/Bethanien, Berlin, DE
    Versions of Reality: Selections from the West Collection, curated by Lee Stoetzel, NEXT, Chicago, USA
    Passed as present, York Art Gallery, York, UK
  • 2007 In het woud – op zoek naar betekenis, Armando Museum, Amersfoort, NL
    Photoplus, curated by Lilly Wei, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, TX, USA
    The End Begins, curated by Gil Hedley, selections from the Lodevans Collection, London, UK
    ICPNY Selections 2007, curated by James Siena, ICP Gallery, NY, USA
    The Photograph as Canvas, curated by Stephen Maine, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT, USA
  • 2005 Stay Inside, Shoshanna Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2004 Is One Thing Better Than Another?, Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Cologne, DE
    Pin-Up: Contemporary Collage and Drawing, curated by Emma Dexter and Susan May, Tate Modern, London, UK Sugar Hiccup, curated by Jeffrey Rosen, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, JPN
    Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity, curated by Bob Nickas, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY
    Drawn/Quartered, curated by Josh Rickarts, Terri Dowel-Dennis, David Brown and Mark Linga, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
    Off the Wall: Works from the JP Morgan Chase Collection, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
    Open House: Working in Brooklyn, curated by Charlotta Kotik, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Home Extension, curated by Gregory Volk and Sabine Russ, Albany University Museum, Albany, NY, USA
  • 2003 Game Over, Grimm Rosenfeld Gallery, Munich, DE
    Some Panoramas, curated by Paul Hedge, Pump House Gallery, London, UK
    The Photography Gallery, curated by Charlotte Cotton, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
    Water, Water, curated by Lily Wei, Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 2002 Transformer II, curated by Inez van Lamsweerde, Air de Paris, Paris, FR
    Quase Desenho, Adriana Penteado, Sao Paulo, BR
    Recent Works, Zabriskie Gallery, New York, USA
  • 2000 Aspects of Contemporary Landscape, Marcello Marvelli Fine Arts, New York, USA 2000 “3D, Zingmagazine, New York, USA
    Polar Bear In A Snow Storm, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, USA
  • 1999 Sebastiaan Bremer/Vince Szarek Gallery Untitled, Dallas, TX, USA
    The Stroke, curated by Shahzia Sikander, Exit Art, New York, USA
    Anti –World, curated by Marcos Rosales, Gallery Untitled, Dallas, TX, USA
  • 1998 Imagination Dead Imagine, Silverstein Gallery, New York, USA
  • 1995 Thicket on the Lamb, Thicket Gallery, New York, USA
  • 1992 Protectors, Bloom Gallery, Amsterdam, NL

Awards & Residencies

  • 2018 Pollack-Krasner Travel Grant for Macdowell Colony
  • 2018 Residency Mcdowell Colony
  • 2009 Residency, Het Vijfde Seizoen, Den Dolder, NL
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  • 2006 Residency, Lower East Side Printshop, New York, USA
  • 2001 Residency, ART OMI, New York, USA
  • 1998 Scholarship, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME, USA
    Stipend, Netherlands/America Foundation, New York, USA
  • 1997 Basisbeurs S.F.B.K., Amsterdam, NL
  • 1995 Basisbeurs S.F.B.K., Amsterdam, NL
  • 1992 Werkbeurs S.F.B.K., Amsterdam, NL

Projects & Professorships

  • 2015 Curator (with SO – IL), “Blueprint,” Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, NY
  • 2014 Curator (with SO – IL), “Blueprint,” Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, NL
  • 2013 Guest Editor, .cent magazine, The Cornucopia Issue
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  • 2012 Visiting Professor, Dept. of Art, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
  • 2011 Visiting Professor, Dept. of Art & Art History, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • 2009 Visiting Professor, with James Siena, Cooper Union, New York
    Visiting Professor, with James Siena, School of Visual Arts, New York
  • 2007 Curator, Summer Exhibition, Lower East Side Printshop, New York
  • 2006 Visiting Professor, Dept. of Painting and Printmaking, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
  • 2003 The Bricklayer’s Son. Collaboration with Tjebbo Penning. Chambers Street Films
  • 2001 Collaboration with M&M, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Callaghan campaign, Vogue US, Vogue Italia, and Vogue France, March
    Curator, Volume drawing magazine, Issue 0
  • 2000 Curator, 36-page 3-D insert, Zingmagazine, October/January
  • 1998 Curator (with Pieter Woudt), “Blueprint,” New York
  • 1995 Curator, “ALBUM,” Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and New York

Monographs

  • 2015 To Joy, with essays by Charlotte Cotton and Gregory Volk. Published by Frame Publishers: distributed by Thames and Hudson
  • 2006 Avila, with essays by Sabine Russ and Jordan Kantor. Roebling Hall and 99 Publishers
  • 2003 Monkey Brain, with essays by Oliver Koerner von Gustorf and Gregory Volk. Galerie Barbara Thumm

Catalogues & Publications

  • 2013 Van Lamsweerde, Inez, & Vinoodh Matadin. Pretty Much Everything. Köln: Taschen
  • 2011 Engman, Stacy. Contemporary Magic: A Tarot Deck Art Project. New York: KLÜP Foundation
  • 2010Van Lamsweerde, Inez, & Vinoodh Matadin. Pretty Much Everything 1985-2010. Amsterdam: Foam Fotographie Museum
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  • 2009 Rattemeyer, Christian. The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Catalogue Raisonné. New York: The Museum of Modern Art
    unlocked #2. Utrecht: The Rabobank Art Collection
  • 2008 Cotton, Charlotte, and Soo Kim. When it’s a photograph. Los Angeles: OTIS College of Art
    Fogelson, Doug, and Christopher Bucklow. Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture. Chicago: Front Forty Press
  • 2007 Schmidt, Jason. Artists. Paris: Edition 7L
    West, Paige. The Art of Buying Art: An Insider’s Guide to Collecting Contemporary Art. New York: Harper Design Miller, Ken. Revisionairies: A Decade of Art in Tokion. New York: Abrams Image
    In Het Woud – Op Zoek Naar Betekenis. Armando Museumreeks no. 4. Amersfoort, NL: Armando Museum
    Een impressie van schoonheid, de kunstcollectie van Rabobank Midden IJsselmonde. Utrecht: The Rabobank Art Collection
  • 2006 Giovannotti, Micaela, and Joyce Korotkin, Out Of True. Verona, IT: Byblos
  • 2004 Home Extension. Albany, NY: University of Albany Press
  • 2002 Quase Desenho. Essay by Fernando Oliva. São Paulo: Adriana Penteado
  • 2001 Hull, Steven et al. Song Poems. Los Angeles: Steven Hull

Selected Articles & Features

  • 2015 Sebastiaan Bremer’s Spilaio at Hales Gallery, 3rd Dimension, March 17
    Alec Coiro, Why Artists Don’t get to Retire (“If they do they are dead”): Sebastiaan Bremer Discusses BLUEPRINT at Storefront for Art and Architecture, Ravelin, March
    Yasmin Sholgami, .BULK: Sebastiaan Bremer, .cent Magazine, February 13
    Open Files: Sebastiaan Bremer, Elephant Magazine issue 21, Winter
  • 2014 Dalamangas, Rachel Cole. Interview: Great Shows Don’t Depend on Big Budgets (But the Cost of Being an Artist is Still a Bitch), Zingmagazine. April
  • 2013 Schmerler, Sarah. Sebastiaan Bremer, Photograph Magazine. 28 September
    Portfolio, Zingmagazine #23. August
    Alpmagi från barndomen, Fotografisk Tidskrift #2
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  • 2012 Sebastiaan Bremer’s ode to the family holiday, Phaidon. December 11
    Weeks, Jonny. Red wine and doughnuts at the Daegu Photo Biennale, South Korea, The Guardian Photography Blog. 29 October
    A Multicolor Celebration of the Sublime. Artlog. 11 October
    Photography Now: Sebastiaan Bremer, IMA volume 1. Autumn
    Maxwell, Clayton. “Sebastiaan Bremer: Egmont, Eyemazing. Summer
    Ravelin Magazine issue 1, September
    Harper’s, July 2011 Snider, Heather. “Sebastiaan Bremer: Nudes and Revolutions, Eyemazing. Summer
  • 2011 Einspruch, Franklin., “Nudes and Revolutions: Through a Glass Darkly, The New York Sun. March 14
    Hee, Yoo Joo. The Happiest Moment, Elle Girl Korea. February
  • 2010 Simons, Riki. “Top 100 van Nederlandse Kunstenaars,” Elsevier issue 17. May 1
  • 2010 Silva, Horacio. Magic Show, The New York Times. Sunday, November 14
    Dentz, Shoshana. Sebastiaan Bremer, BOMB no. 112, , Summer
    Sebastiaan Bremer, Sajinyesul Photographic Art Magazine no. 258. October
    Aviv, Rachel. Which Way Madness Lies, Harper’s. December
    Sebastiaan Bremer, L’Officiel Hommes Italia. Winter
    Sweet Dots from Sebastiaan Bremer, Vision Magazine
  • 2009 Aletti, Vince. Sebastiaan Bremer, The New Yorker. October 19
    January 11, Visionaire no. 57. December
    Latocha, Kris. Sebastiaan Bremer, Dazed & Confused volume 2 issue 78. October
    Parsing Spirituality, The New Yorker. February 9 & 16
    Paterson, Carrie. Multiverse at Claremont Museum of Art, Artillery Magazine issue 3. Jan./Feb.
  • 2008 Muller, Katrin. Luftspiegelungen, Tip Berlin issue 59
    Creative Face. May
    Thomsen, Henrike. Valerie Favre und Sebastiaan Bremer in der Galerie Barbara Thumm, Artnet. May Niederlandeweb. May
  • 2007 Someone’s Garden issue 2
    McAuliffe, Kathleen. Medical Mysteries: Secrets of Sleep, Discover. Summer
    Genocchio, Benjamin. Beyond Airbrushing, The New York Times. April 1
  • 2006 Art in America. October
    McAdams, Shane. Artseen: Sebastiaan Bremer, The Brooklyn Rail. April
    Maine, Stephen. The Photograph as Canvas, Art on Paper. September/October
    The New Yorker, March
  • 2005 Zingmagazine, Winter
    Spaninks, Angelique. Kunstbeeld – Cahier #5, De Rabo Kunstcollectie,
    H x B x D, Volkskrant. March 4
  • 2004 Basha, Regine. Soft Shock, Art Lies issue 43
    Cripps, Charlotte. Work at the cutting edge, The Independent Review. December 2
    La Rocco, Ben. “Artseen: Sebastiaan Bremer at Satellite,” The Brooklyn Rail. April
    Work in Progress, V Magazine issue 31. Fall
    Harper’s, February 2004 Volk, Gregory. Big Brash Borough, Art in America no. 8, September
    IN magazine 05, April
  • 2003 Lliedo, Elena, and Ed Osborn. Neue Review.
    Daniels, Corinna. “Zeichningen auf Fotos von Sebastiaan Bremer, Die Welt. December 5
    Portfolio Juvenile, Rebel no. 6. Fall/Winter
    Die Tageszeituing. November 26
    u_Spot issue 0
    Hedge, Paul. “The Big Draw,” ArtReview. May
    Visionaire no. 41: World
  • 2002 Intimate Rituals, Oyster no. 39. April/May
    Greene, Robert. “Light Opera,” Artforum. April
    Charley 02
  • 2001 BlackBook. Winter
    Copa Cabana, Rebel no. 2. Fall/Winter
    Smith, Roberta. “Art in Review: ‘Veronica,’” The New York Times. November 23
    Cyphers Wright, Jeffrey. “Painted Pictures,” Art & Auction, November
    Esquire Japan. November
    Kiera Chaplin – Callaghan Campaign with Sebastiaan Bremer, Foam Magazine. Fall
    Planet Magazine. Fall
    Van Lamsweerde, Inez. “Top Ten,” Artforum, April
  • 1999 Frölke, Viktor. “Wie is wie: De Nederlandse kunsten in New York,” PS van den week. 17 April
    Prose, Francine. “The Gallery: The Artist As Curator,” The Wall Street Journal. May 20
  • 1998 Sebastiaan Bremer, The New York Times Magazine. April

Selected Collections

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
MOMA, New York
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Zabludowicz Trust, London
Rabobank Collection, Netherlands
Akzo-Nobel Collection, Amsterdam
Lodevans Contemporary LLP, London
Berger Collection, Zurich
UBS
New York Public Library
Dikeou Collection, Denver