Roebling Hall at Satellite
Sebastiaan Bremer’s art concerns surface and association. By drawing over re-photographed snapshots in inks and dyes, he intricately builds plastic surfaces of the kind associated with painting. The images that emerge from Bremer’s skeins of calligraphic line appear to be free associated from the meaning of the original snapshot. The results are by turns astonishingly beautiful and satisfyingly mysterious.
The pick of this show is the ambiguously titled "Monkey Love," which shows a sleeping girl with her white comforter pulled high, leaving only the curves of neck, shoulder and jaw exposed. Bremer draws over it in black and white. From a distance, the white ink looks like brilliant highlights on the comforter. Up close, one is drawn into its web of connected images: a mouth, a forest, a bare breasted woman’s head, a fish, and, if I’m not mistaken, a touching rendition of Philip Guston’s painting of himself and his wife Musa huddled in bed.
In "Monkey Love," Bremer seamlessly weds image with drawing. The two support each other both formally and conceptually. The artist’s drawing does not merely sit on the surface of the photo, but integrates itself in the structure of the composition, as with the white ink and comforter. Reciprocally, the photographic image acts as a receptive screen against which the drawings read as manifestations of the sleeper’s dreams, her thoughts made visible. The fruits of Bremer’s labor are equally evident in "Castle Door," whose unwieldy green blotches read as holes in the photo emulsion. Two pieces in alizarin crimson, the palettes of which are less conducive to Bremer’s dreamy mood, add a touch of intensity to the show.
"The more you look, the more you see," runs the title to Gregory Volk’s catalogue essay on Bremer’s work. It holds true. The artist has invested heavily in his struggle with two mediums and his work pays handsome dividends for the patient viewer. One feels keenly drawn along by the fluid wisps of line in anticipation of the next image to be revealed. Now lost in the artist’s stringy spider’s web of drawing, now contemplating a rendered form, the viewer might always back off to contemplate the hazy landscape of the original snapshot. Bremer’s thorough consideration and nuanced response to the conundrum of integrating drawing and photography opens fields of thought for the potential in such liaisons.
ContributorBen La Rocco
Canal Street Research Association: Shanzhai LyricBy Anna Harsanyi
FEB 2021 | ArtSeen
In this space just west of Mercer Street, Shanzhai Lyric traces the transitory and ephemeral nature of Canal Street as a site of knockoff production, dislocated trade routes, and gentrificationand the ways in which bootlegging can generate creative disruptions.
Russell Maltz: Painted / Stacked / SiteBy William Corwin
MAY 2022 | ArtSeen
Maltzs project is to make something but still deny the fruit of his efforts a description; his process is also calibrated to reject bourgeois definitions of arthe stacks, piles, and arranges objects but refuses to force them into a state of permanent association.
tenBy António Osório, translated from the Portuguese by Patricio Ferrari and Susan M. Brown
JUNE 2022 | Poetry
António Osório, originally from Setúbal, a port town south of Lisbon, was born in 1933 to a Portuguese father and an Italian mother. He practiced law by profession, serving both as the head of the Portuguese Bar Association and as president of the Portuguese Association for Environmental Law. His early books A Raiz Afectuosa [The Tender Root] and A Ignorância da Morte [Ignorance of Death] were both published in the 1970s to great acclaim in Portugal. Later books would earn him the Township of Lisbon Literary Prize (1982), the P.E.N. Club Portuguese Poetry Prize (1991), and the prestigious Portuguese National Authors Prize (2010) for his collected works A Luz Fraterna [Fraternal Light]. A Felicidade da Luz [Joy of Light], published by Assírio & Alvim in 2016, was his last book. António Osório passed away at his family home, in Lisbon, on November 18th, 2021, at the age of 88. The selection of ten poems translated were originally published in Portuguese in Planetário e Zoo dos Homens (Lisbon, ed. Presença, 1990) (Panetary and Zoo of Men).
Manifesto: No Evictions!By Brooklyn Eviction Defense
DEC 21-JAN 22 | Field Notes
Brooklyn Eviction Defense (BED) is an autonomous organization of tenants fighting against the eviction machine through direct action and collective organizing. BED came out of a coalition of tenant unions in the summer of 2020, in response to the looming avalanche of evictions created by the combination of federal and state eviction moratoriums and a refusal to cancel rent. Our work takes many forms including blockades, stoop watches, tenant association organizing, tenant support, preventive targeted outreach, data work, propaganda and political education.