Johan Creten — The Vivisector
Past: January 12 → February 23, 2013Entretien — Johan Creten Trois ans après son exposition "Continent noir", le Flamand Johan Creten revient au musée Delacroix ainsi qu'à la galerie Perrotin, entouré de ses sculptures abstraites à l’aspect si lisse qu’un liquide semble les recouvrir et couler d’elles.
Johan Creten discovers the hidden power of earth behind ceramic’s apparent fragility. He favours this polymorphic technique since 1984 and has developped since then the art of metamorphosis. The artist uses glazed stoneware, in particular for works of large size, a technique he already explored for the exhibition “Contrepoint 2” at the Louvre in 2004.
Johan Creten’s works seem to have escaped from fairytales and become symbolist wonders. They suggest the grottos of the Renaissance, where rules an artificial Nature, Arcimboldo’s and Bernard Palissy’s mannerism and also the curiosity cabinets that he reactivated during his much noted exhibition in 2008 at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, in Paris.
The title The Vivisector refers to the book of Patrick White (1970) which explores the universal ideas of the creator’s suffering, the quest of truth and the meaning of existence; the book haunted Johan Creten’s childhood and determined his desire to be an artist.
Four monumental sculptures of stoneware, ressembling anthropormophic and enigmatic owls, welcome us, silent and ambivalent (The Nose, Fatigue, The Vivisector, the Father). Heratic by the elegance of their glaze they scrutinize us with their melancholical gaze almost as egytian gods.Two other mysterious birds partially deploy their wounded wings.
In another room, the ambiguous figure of Bi-Boy is surrounded by six abstract mural sculptures of brewing life’s energy, covered by new lava glaze.
Finally, a more intimate room holds three representations of the concept of Luck in the form of large veils (Grande Fortuna). These sculptures closes a rich story full of multiple paths for the visitor.
Johan Creten recently participated in the exhibition “Beauté Animale” at the Grand Palais in 2012 and has a solo exhibition “Fire-Works” at the Dhondt-Dhaenens Museum in Deurle in Begium. Until the 18th of March 2013, Creten unveils at the Musée Eugène-Delacroix in the exhibition “Eugène Delacroix. Des fleurs en hiver. Othoniel, Creten”, a new group of sculptures in stoneware and bronze revealing the erotic meaning of flowers (through “Odore di Femmina”, “Génie” and the mural pieces “Wallflowers”).
As a leading pioneer in the revival of modern ceramics alongside Fontana and Schütte, Johan Creten continues to influence a generation of young artists.