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Johan Creten: BESTIARIUM

12 March —29 May 2022

A major protagonist in the revival of ceramics, Johan Creten (born in 1963) is an artist known around the world for his works which, whether glazed terracotta or musings in bronze, depict an unsettling strangeness and play with impaired vision, manhandle our representations and popular beliefs. For the exhibition in Roubaix, designed in partnership with the Almine Rech gallery, the artist will present, in addition to two emblematic works from his career – C’est dans ma nature (2001) and De Vleermuis (2015-2019), a metamorphic bas-relief and a monumental fountain in the form of a bat, – an unusual set of seventeen ceramic animals (Beasts). A wild boar stuck in a bloody mire, a fly asleep like a cadaver tomb or a pelican petrified by unfathomable sadness: the bestiary is never naturalistic but symbolic, with each animal a sign of the ethereal, between desolation and abandonment, impulse and melancholy. No still lifes here: everything is alive, everything pulses and everything trembles. These faux-naïf beasts recount the political substance of a world made of conflict, struggle and resignation, but also of joy, consolation and hope. For if man is a political animal, the world is a splendid theatre of cruelty…

Scientific Committee: Colin Lemoine
General Committee: Sylvette Botella-Gaudichon
Catalogue published for the exhibition

The design was made possible thanks to generous support from the Flanders Colours range of paints distributed by Tollens.

Johan Creten, Het Everzwijn, 2020, Grès émaillé.
© Gerrit Schreurs et © Creten Studio

See also