Sebastiaan Bremer (b. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1970) attended the open studio program in Vrije Academie in The Hague (1989-1991) and attended Skowhegan (1998). Bremer moved to New York in 1992, where he now lives and works.
Throughout his career, Bremer has in one way or another used pre-existing images to explore deep ideas about time, memory and processing. In his early years, he meticulously reproduced personal snap-shots in painting. Over the following years, this process of ‘re thinking’ visual documents of the past has led Bremer to experimentation with different techniques and materials that alter the image’s material existence, adding another dimension, giving it new possible meanings and shifting the viewer’s perception. In the late 1990s he began to draw directly on the surface of personal photographs, covering the images with intricate patterns of strokes and dots or applying splashes of paint and ink.
More recently, Bremer has complicated this process of alteration, cutting and carving away sections of emulsion to create etchings on the photographic surface and using collage techniques to create hybrid images. He has also expanded his range of visual sources (from classical sculpture to modernist photography) and media (such as in Bloemen, his series of re-worked vintage lithographic flower prints), as well as exploring new forms and additional dimensions through multimedia installation incorporating projections, sculptural works, found objects and sound (as in his 2015 exhibition at Hales Gallery, Σπήλαιο [Spilaio]). In 2017, he organized and performed for twenty days in a Brooklyn church where he lived and worked, collaborating with musicians, photographers, choreographers the Sanctuary project, organized in collaboration with The Armory show. Later that year he also had his solo exhibition Ave Maria at Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York.
In 1998, Bremer went to Skowhegan, and in 2001, to Art Omi. He was a visiting professor at VCU in 2006, and was resident artist at the Lower East Side Printshop in 2006/2007.
In 2016 Fort Worth Contemporary Arts at TCU held a mid-career retrospective of Bremer's work. Other selected shows include Tate Modern (London), The Brooklyn Museum of Art (New York), Het Gemeentemuseum (The Hague), The Aldrich Museum (Connecticut), Marlborough Gallery (New York), Air de Paris, (Paris), James Fuentes LLC (New York), Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York), Galerie Barbara Thumm, (Berlin), Projektraum I (Berlin), Kunsthal KadE (Amersfoort), MOCA Tucson (Tucson), the Tang Museum, Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs), and the Warhol Museum (Pittsburg). Bremer's work is represented in important private and public collections such as Victoria & Albert Museum (London), MoMA (New York), LACMA (Los Angeles), Berger collection (Zurich), The Zabludowicz Trust (London), and the Rabobank Collection (The Netherlands).