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 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.

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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 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.

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