Sebastian Riemer

Press Paintings

Spector Books, Leipzig
Silver Medal

jury statement

Switzerland /// Schweiz

Sebastian Riemer’s Press Paintings series looks at retouched press photographs from the last century. He examines numerous images,
analysing the manual work that went into such retouching, a primitive process from today’s perspective. This throws up questions
about the material nature of the decades-old images and the physicality of the people depicted.

The visuals are cropped, reshaped and “beautified,” a practice that, given how it constructs an illusory image in the public memory, seems grotesque, radical and even brutal. The meticulous black-and-white appropriations are an act of media archaeology, directing our attention to the images’ promise of authenticity and to the strikingly painterly quality of the retouching. The works, produced in the period since 2013, blur the boundary between photography and painting, between documenting and inventing.

The large softcover book has numerous blank pages that not only provide breaks amidst the images and dense typography, but also give the impression of walking through a gallery space, with the white pages corresponding to white walls. This is a beautifully designed volume with many smart details.

32 × 23 cm
number of pages
312 Seiten
number of copies
38,00 Euro
Teo Schifferli, Ladina Dörig, Lou Rais
DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg, Altenburg