View of the exhibition "Dark Continent" at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin
the artist and Perrotin
« This is particularly true of Creten’s largest and most ambitious clay work here, The Collectors (2008-9), three giant squirrels in glazed stoneware, each jealously guarding-or perhaps generously offering-the large acorn nestled between its paws. Totemic figures, almost Ancient Egyptian-looking, their scale confutes the simplicity of their form, and their bewildering confusion of lustrous, unphotographable colours lures us in ever closer. Predicting how glazes will react when fired is pretty close to impossible, so the dazzling surface of these oversize beasts are almost as surprising to the artist as they are to us. This uncontrollable aspect boosts the volume on their physical presence. They don’t so much stand for something as stand here, one-offs unique to here and now, but more trasngressive than transcendent, retrograde throwbacks that hold us in their thrall. »
Christopher Mooney, « Johan Creten. Dark Continent », Art Review, Issue 39, March 2010, page 140.