ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Opening September 5, 2015

Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam

FINISSAGE | October 31, 2015 Tours & Drinks 4 - 6 pm

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Sebastiaan Bremer - STREET CALLED STRAIGHT
Galerie Ron Mandos has the pleasure to announce STREET CALLED STRAIGHT, the first solo exhibition of Sebastiaan Bremer (1970) with the gallery. Bremer spent part of his youth in a house across the canal from where Galerie Ron Mandos is now situated. Having left for New York over 20 years ago, he now returns to his roots with his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands: STREET CALLED STRAIGHT. Upon leaving his homeland one item the artist took with him was a Dutch photography book entitled ‘Bloemen’. This publication was made during the years of German occupation and constitutes an expression of national pride through 3 things: flower cultivation, graphic design and printing. Colourful yet wistful, in some way perhaps portraying the oppression of this period, Bremer has for a long time wanted to incorporate these images in his work. Now upon his return, the time is right.

In this body of work also entitled ‘Bloemen’, Bremer makes small and considered interventions in the original images. Small dots of carefully matched coloured acrylic are applied creating an overall balanced composition. The works obtain a galactic association, with the dots of paint resembling gravitational lenses in space, referring to the phenomenon of seeing spatial matter in different moments of time in one view.

Next to this series of works, Bremer will exhibit two larger drawings entitled ‘Waterfall’ and ‘The Road to Damascus’. These works were made drawing and scratching onto exposed and therefore black, photographic paper. Only very subtle leaks of light are perceptible in the paper used. In another exhibited series entitled ‘Nature Morte, Nu et Tete’, Bremer uses photographs taken in his studio that resemble Dutch golden age still-lifes. These photographs are combined with drawn pictoral motifs (a torso by Brassai, a study for a skull by Picasso and a vase by Matisse), which are cut into and intersect each other in dynamic ways. The title STREET CALLED STRAIGHT refers to the notion of epiphany. It references directly the story of Saul who is confronted by god on the road to Damascus on his way to persecute the Christians. Saul subsequently converts to Christianity and becomes the apostle Paul. STREET CALLED STRAIGHT is also Bremer’s own insight gained over the years in his practice. Upon his return to Amsterdam, a loop is closed and a new perspective achieved.

Bremer’s work is part of several important collections worldwide, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Zabludowicz Trust, London; The AKZO Nobel collection, The Netherlands and more. Sebastiaan Bremer’s artwork has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; The Aldrich Museum, Connecticut; MoMA PS1, New York; and at Het Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. 

Jacco Olivier - New Works
Galerie Ron Mandos proudly presents new works by Dutch painter and filmmaker Jacco Olivier (1972). Jacco Olivier has built a name for his own special brand of painterly video art. Incorporating dots, dashes and fleeting streaks of paint, he uses the medium of video to imbue his ‘canvasses’ with an intricate and heightened sense of movement creating colourful, textured and malleable worlds that suck the viewer in. Up until very recently the paintings scanned to produce these video works have never been shown. But especially for this show with Galerie Ron Mandos, Olivier will premiere large format autonomous paintings. This follows on from Olivier’s recent exhibition at Galerie der Stadt Backnang in Germany where for the first time he presented a series of small painted panels, which were used in his video making process.

Central to the exhibition will be three never before shown video works: one monumental six- meter broad projection flanked by two smaller pieces. These works continue Olivier’s move away from narratively structured works such as ‘Return’ (2007) and ‘Run’ (2008) and motif- based pieces such as ‘Bath’ and ‘Stumble’ (both 2009) towards ever increasing abstraction.

In these new pieces dabs of paint of varying form and texture hang in a gently swaying equilibrium. These painterly worlds seem to portray an illusive subconscious: organic undulating shapes we may see when falling asleep, or denser more geometric shapes that lurch one way and then another. These different composed scenes of painted forms follow one another in subtly fluid transitions: a twenty minute meditative journey.

Jacco Olivier lives and works in Amsterdam having studied at the Rijksakademie from 1997-1998. He participated in the 2005 Prague Biennale and group exhibitions at the Istanbul Modern; MCA Denver and Centre pour l’image Contemporaine Saint-Gervais in Geneva. Olivier was included in the 8th SITE Santa Fe Biennial: The Dissolve, curated by Daniel Belasco and Sarah Lewis in 2011. He had solo shows in The Hague Gemeentemuseum (GEM) in 2014 and Galerie der Stadt Backnang in 2015. His work is also included in the Venice Biennial 2015, Azerbaijan Pavilion.

ABOUT Jacco Olivier

Jacco Olivier was born in 1972 in Goes, The Netherlands
He lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jacco Olivier fuses painting and filmmaking by repeatedly reworking paintings in generous casual brush strokes and systematically photographing each development. The various stages are combined into projected animations. The resulting films are enigmatic and experiential – moving in and out of abstraction they reveal the traces and decisions made by the artist in the process of painting. While there is a clear and quite complex process involved in their creation, Olivier does not set a thematic agenda for the works, or for their relationship to one another. The films are instead imagined as windows onto converging, and often elegantly simple, moments of daily life – a bus journey, a swim in the ocean, or a walk through the woods. At this convergence of painting and cinema, however, lies an uneasy tension, a feeling that something is about to happen or has just happened that is unexpected and beyond our control.

Jacco Olivier is a graduate of the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. He has exhibited worldwide, notably at ZKM, Karlsruhe; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY; Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht; MCA Denver, CO; The 56th Venice Biennial, Venice; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem; New York City Center/New Museum, New York, NY, and GEM, The Hague. His art is held in many public collections, including Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; the Honart Museum, Tehran; the Zabludowicz Collection, London, and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL. In 2019, he was awarded the Jeanne Oosting Prize for figurative painting in The Netherlands.

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ABOUT Sebastiaan Bremer

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.

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