Born in 1963 in Sint-Truiden, Belgium
Lives and works in Paris, France

Johan CRETEN

A key figure in the revival of ceramics in contemporary art, the Paris-based artist Johan Creten (born in 1963) has been working in numerous locations for almost forty years, from Mexico to Rome, from Miami to The Hague. 
Since the 1980s, when ceramics were still considered taboo in the art world, Johan Creten’s dedication and innovation in clay have led to the development of unique and virtuoso techniques. Renowned for his allegorical sculptures in ceramic and bronze, Creten depicts a world full of poetry, lyricism, and mystery. Yet his work not only highlights the importance of beauty but also resonates socially and politically, affirming his humanist commitment. Johan Creten advocates for “Slow Art,” a return to introspection and an exploration of the world with all its individual and social afflictions.  
Today, Johan Creten's works are in the collections of prestigious museums such as the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Cité de la Céramique in Sèvres, and the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. 
In 2005, the artist was invited to create a dialogue between his works and those of Bernard Palissy (1510-1589) at the Louvre for the Contrepoint 2 exhibition. He is currently exhibiting at the Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans (until 22 September 2024) and in the city itself (until summer 2025) in a solo show entitled Johan Creten. Playing with fire.

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solo shows

2024
- Strangers Welcome, Galerie Perrotin, New York, USA
- Faire Corps, Fondation Villa Datris, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgues, France
- Les Fabriques ou la Rage des Utopies, Domaine de la Garenne Lemot, Clisson, France
- Jouer avec le feu, Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans, Orléans, France
- How to explain the Sculptures to an Influencer ?, Perrotin Matignon, Paris, France 

2023
- Le cœur qui déborde, Abbaye de Beaulieu-en-Rouergue, CMN, Ginals, France
- Installation Artistique "Johan Creten - La Grande Colonne", Musée de la Garenne Lemot, Gétigné, France
- Le Voyage à Nantes, Nantes, France

2022
- GOLD - Les ors d’Yves Saint Laurent, Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, France
- Pilevneli Gallery, Bodrum / Muğla, Turkey
- Pilane Heritage Museum, Klövedal, Sweden
- BESTIARIUM, Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
- BESTIARIUM, Musée d'art et d'industrie André Diligent of Roubaix, Roubaix, France

2021
- C'est dans ma nature, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium

2020
- I Peccati, Villa Medicis, Roma, Italy
- Entracte, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France

2019
- True Love, Leila Heller Gallery, Dubaï, United Arab Emirates
- Figur Natur Skulptur, Pilane, Sweden
- Mechelen Museumnacht , Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium
- The Vivisector, Pilevneli Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
- Rédemption, Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, Valloire, France
- True Love, Leila Heller Gallery, Dubaï, United Arab Emirates

2018
- Pliny’s Sorrow, Château d’Arenberg, Leuven, Belgium
- Sunrise/Sunset, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- Johan Creten, Beelden Aan Zee, Scheveningen, The Hague, The Netherlands
- Alfred Paintings, Galerie Perrotin, New-York, USA
- Naked Roots / Naakte Wortels, Museum Beldeen Aan Zee Scheveningen, Den Hague, The Netherlands

2017
- Between Day and Dream, Pilevneli Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
- 8 Gods, Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2016
- Terre Fertile / Terre Fébrile, Chateau de Pommard, Bourgogne, France
- La Traversée, Centre Régional d'Art Contemporain, Sète, France

2015
- The Nature of Clay, The Monaco Project for the Arts 2015 Pavillon Bosio - ESAP, Monaco
- God is a Stranger, Galerie Perrotin, New-York, USA
- In Situ 2015, Abbaye de Gellone, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, France

2014
- The Storm, Middelheim Museum, Sculpture Park, Antwerp, Belgium
- Middelheim Museum, Sculpture Park, Antwerp, Belgium
- Fireworks, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, China
- Gulden Snede, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium

2013
- The Vivisector, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- JC, Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2012
- Fire-Works, Dhondt-Dhaenens Museum, Deurle, Belgium

2011
- Pliny's Sorrow, Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
- Les ruches de Saint Bernard, Abbaye du Thoronet, in collaboration with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, Thoronet, France

2010
- Dark Continent, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France

2009
- Why does Strange Fruit always look so sweet?, Saint-Séverin Gallery, Paris, France

2008
- Strange Fruit, Galerie Perrotin, Miami, USA
- Johan Creten : La Femmina, on the occasion of "Dégelée Rabelais", Musée Archéologique Henri-Prades, Lattes, France
- Johan Creten - De gewonden / Les Blessées, Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
- Ex Natura, Musée de la Chasse, (in coproduction with the Manufacture National of Sèvres), Paris, France

2007
- Johan Creten. Tour des Forces, Royal Museum of Mariemont, Morlanwelz, Belgium
- Johan Creten. Beelden, Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, Leyde, The Netherlands

2006
- Narcissus Saved, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium

2004
- Miami Dreams, De Garage - Ruimte voor actuele kunst, Mechelen, Belgium

2003
- Johan Creten, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA
- Johan Creten, J. Johnson Gallery, Jacksonville Beach, Florida, USA
- Johan Creten. Sculpture, Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida, USA

2001
- Johan Creten : 3 Torsos, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA
- C’est dans ma nature, Hôtel de Ville, Aulnay-sous-Bois, France
- En attendant les Égyptiens, Papillon Gallery, Paris, France
- Installation in collaboration with Extraits : 5 lieux investis. Art contemporain, paysage et économie, Les Rairies, Anjou, France

2000
- Johan Creten Ceramic Sculpture, Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
- Animalia, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium
- Animalia, Cultural center of Bogaard, Sint-Truiden, Belgium

1999
- Que Maravilla, Que Maravilla..., Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
- Johan Creten. Escultura Villa de García, Casa del Obispado, Monterrey, Mexico

1998
- L’homme parfait, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland
- Odore di Femmina, Robert Miller gallery, New York, USA
- Johan Creten: Works on Paper, Transit Gallery, Leuven, Belgium
- Sculptures récentes, School of Fine Arts, Dunkerque, France

1997
- La Misère Dorée, in conjunction with "Retours d’Italie", Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
- Johan Creten, La Box, Bourges, France
- Installation, Villa Medici, Roma, Italy

1996
- Wereldbeelden/De Voorkamer, W 139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1995
- Amerika Amerika, Arndt & Partner Gallery, Berlin, Germany
- Huis van bewaring - Marc Cloet en Johan Creten, Stedelijk Museum Het Toreke, Tienen, Belgium

1994
- La Mort d’Adonis, FRAC Auvergne, Château de Chareil-Cintrat, France
- La Mort d’Adonis, Musée Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay, France
- La Mort d’Adonis, Hesselbach Gallery, Berlin, Germany
- La Tête d’Obsidienne, La Seyne-sur-Mer, France
- Johan Creten, Beam Gallery, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
- Les Amants, Transit Gallery, Leuven, Belgium
- 60 rooms with a view, Art Hotel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1993
- Johan Creten, Galerie de la Villa, Villa Arson, Nice, France

1992
- Johan Creten. Het Paard van Troje/Le Cheval de Troie, 1986–1992, Transit Gallery, Leuven, Belgium

1991
- En Quarantaine, Brise-lames, Sète, France
- Incrustaties, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1990
- Saint-Sodom & Stimulators, CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium
- L’œil de l’antiquaire, Transit Gallery, Leuven, Belgium

1988
- Kunstkamer, Meyer Gallery, Paris, France

1987
- Johan Creten: Peintures et sculptures, Meyer Gallery, Paris, France

group shows

2024
- Triennale de Beaufort 2024, Beaufort, Belgique
- Hangar Y, Meudon, France

2023
- Aux Temps du Sida. Oeuvres, récits et entrelacs, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg, France
- Matignon Group Show, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- Toucher terre, Fondation Villa Datris, Espace Monte-cristo, Paris, France
- Constellations, Musée d'Art Moderne de Céret, Céret, France
- CROSSING WAYS, Musée religieux de Koekelberg, Belgium 
- De Eerste parade, Knokke-Heist, Belgium
- Sophie Calle, À toi de faire, ma mignonne, Musée Picasso, Paris, France
- Les Fleurs du Mal, Maison Guerlain, Paris, France

2022
- Handle with Care, Princessehof Ceramics Museum (Keramiekmuseum Princesshof), Leewarden, The Netherlands
- Formes Vivantes, Manufacture de Sèvres, Sèvres, France
- GOLD, Les ors d'Yves Saint Laurent, curated by Elsa Janssenn Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, France 
- (UN)COMMON VALUES, National Bank of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
- Regarde-moi, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- Les Fleurs du Mâle, Musée International d’art Naïf, Nice, France 
- Contre-Nature, MOCO, Montpellier, France
- Toucher terre - l’art de la sculpture céramique, Fondation Villa Datris, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France 
- Portrait of a Lady, Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium
- Heads in the clouds, Galerie Perrotin, Tokyo, Japan 
- Art to wear, Hopenstand, Bruxelles, Belgium
- Why does strange fruit always look so sweet ?, Pilane Heritage Museum, Pilane, Sweden
- Group Show, Pilevneli Yalikavak, Turkey
- Perrotin x Conran Shop, Conran Shop Paris, France
- Salon Perrotin Matignon, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- Utopia, Lille3000, Lille, France
- Pilane Heritage Museum, Klövedal, Sweden
- De Eerste parade, Knokke-Heist, Belgium

2021
- Rhapsody in Blue, Villa Les Zéphyrs, Middelkerke, Belgium
- Voyages immobiles – Le grand tour / Diptyque, curated by Jérome Sans, Poste du Louvre, Paris, France
- Les Extatiques, Parvis de la Défense, Courbevoie, France
- Die Sonne Die Sunde, J. Hopenstand, Geneva, Switzerland
- Group show, Pilevneli gallery, Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, Turkey
- La Bohème, Alfonso Artiaco Gallery, Napoli, Italy 
- Ceramics NOW!, Galerie Italienne, Paris, France 
- De Eerste Parade, Knokke-Heist, Belgium 
- Les Estivales, Sceaux, France 

2020
- ZW-ART, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium  
- Artifices Instables, Histoires de Céramiques, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco - Villa Sauber, Monaco
- Wonderland, Galerie Perrotin, Shanghai, China

2019
- Kunst in Puurs (K.I.P) - Puurs, Belgium
- The Gulf Between. About Black, White and everything in between - De Warande, Belgium
- Anima / Animals - Fondation Villa Datris, L'isle-sur-la-sorgue, France
- The Vivisector, Pilevneli Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
- Formes Vivantes, Musée Adrien Dubouché, Limoges, France
- Presque Rien, Centre d'Initiatives Artistiques du Mirail, Toulouse, France
- Bêtes de Scène, Fondation Villa Datris, L'isle sur la Sorgues, France
- La Fleur de l'Art, 22Visconti, Paris, France
- Djur Natur Skulptur, Pilane Heritage Museum, Kloevedal, Sweden
- True Love, Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

2018 
- Des Artistes & des Abeilles - La Topographie de l'Art, Paris, France
- La Tempête - Centre Régional d'Art contemporain Occitanie (CRAC), Sète, France 
- L'Or ! - Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (Mucem), Marseille, France
- Beelden in Leiden (7th Edition) - Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden - The Netherlands
- By Fire Ceramic works, Almine Rech Gallery, New York, USA
- Masterpiece London, Sismann Gallery, Paris, France
- Sunrise / Sunset, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France

2017
- Regard sur une collection, Musée National Eugène Delacroix, Paris, France
- Miroir Parlant, avec Lucien Petit, Hervé Rousseau et 6 céramiques japonaises traditionnelles, Centre céramique contemporaine, La Borne, France
- Ecce Homo, Geukens & De Vils, Antwerp, Belgium
- De nature en sculpture, Villa Datris, L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue, France
- Point quartz - Flower of Kent, Villa Arson, Nice, France
- Jardins, Grand Palais, Paris, France
- Between Earth and Heaven II, PAK, Bruges, Belgium
- The Beauty and the Beast, Château d'Ursel, Hingene, Belgium

2016
-  Mir ist das Leben lieber. Sammlung Reydan Weiss, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Weserburg, Germany
- CERAMIX. Art and ceramics from Rodin to Schütte, Maison Rouge, Paris & Sèvres, Cité de la Céramique, France
- 350 ans de Création, Villa Médicis, Roma, Italy
- Everybody is Crazy but Me, Maison Particulière, Brussels, Belgium
- From Here to Eternity, Maison Particulière, Brussels, Belgium

2015
- Obsession, Maison Particulière, Brussels, Belgium
- Mademoiselle Privé, by Chanel, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
- CERAMIX. Art and ceramics from Rodin to Schütte,Bonnafantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands 
- Glasstress Gotika 2015, Venice, Italy
- Berengo Foundation, Venice, Italy
- Vormidable. Contemporary Flemish Sculpture, Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag, The Netherlands
- Paysage rêvés - fin de siècle, Musée de Cambrai, Cambrai, France  
- Amours. Tours et détours, Galerie nationale de la tapisserie, Beauvais, France
- IN SITU 2015, Abbaye de Gellonne, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, France

2014
- De Zee (The Sea), Mu.Zee, Ostend, Belgium
- Beating around the Bush Episode # 2, Bonnafantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands
- Cet obscur objet de désirs. Autour de l'Origine du monde, Musée Gustave Courbet, Ornans, France
- Le Baiser Musée Maillol, Paris, France
- Le Mur, Collection Antoine de Galbert, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
- G I R L  by Pharrell Williams, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France

2013
- Happy Birthday, 25 ans de la Galerie Perrotin, exhibition organized by Galerie Perrotin, The Tripostal, Lille, France
- FIAC hors les murs, Almine Rech Gallery, Jardin des Plantes, Paris, France
- Remake, Royal Museum of Mariemont, Morlanwelz, Belgium
- Revelations. Le salon des métiers d'art et de la création, Grand Palais, in partnership with the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, Paris, France
- Terra Arte - Projektes, Zigelei Hundisburg, Hundisburg, Germany
- Sculptures 9 - Animal, Musée Despiau-Wlérick, Mont de Marsan, France
- The 7th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, Icheon CeraMIX Creative Center - Gyeonggi, South Korea
- Mon île de Montmajour, Abbaye de Montmajour, Arles, France
- Back to Earth. From Picasso to Ai Weiwei. The rediscovery of ceramics in art, Herbert Gerisch-Foundation, Neumünster, Germany
- La Révolte et l’Ennui . Collection of the FRAC Auvergne, FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France
- Château hanté, FRAC Auvergne, Domaine Royal de Randan, Randan, France
- Tresses 13. dés-tresse et déclacet treize, Maison des tresses et lacets, La Terrasse-sur-Dorlay, France
- De belles sculptures contemporaines. 30 ans du FRAC Pays de la Loire, Hab Gallery, Nantes, France
- Inaugural project of the Flag-France Foundation in partnership with the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, Parc du Château de La Celle-Saint-Cloud, La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France

2012
- Des Fleurs en Hiver, Musée National Eugène Delacroix, Paris, France
- La Belle & la Bête, Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, Bordeaux, France
- Group show, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- Closer to Thee, Transit Gallery, Leuven, Belgium
- Beauté animale, Grand Palais, Paris, France
- Bêtes monstres et bestioles, Château de Tarascon - Musée Imaginaire du Moyen âge, Tarascon, France
- Blabla et Chichi sur un bateau, Hussenot Gallery, Paris, France
- Le Spectacle de la Nature, at the departmental domain of La Garenne Lemot, Gétigné-Clisson, France
- Newtopia: The State Of Human Rights, MMMechelen vzw, Mechelen, Belgium
- Can’t buy me art ?, CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium
- Metamorphosis : The Transformation of Being, The Grand Residence of Lord Edward Davenport, London, UK
- La Plasticité du langage, Former agency of the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens, Paris, France
- Des Fleurs en Hiver, Delacroix - Othoniel – Creten, Musée national Eugène Delacroix, Paris, France

2011
- Bêtes off, Conciergerie, Paris, France
- Pearls of North , On a pas perdu le nord, Palais d'Iéna, Paris, France
- Louvre à Bethune, Béthune 2011 - Capitale régionale de la culture, Béthune, France
- Intérieurs, L'art de vivre avec l'art, Artcurial, Hôtel Dassault, Paris, France
- Scène Belge, Hippocrene Foundation, Paris, France
- Bestes, bestiaux et bestioles (Genèse), in conjunction with "Monuments et animaux", Château d’Oiron, Oiron, France
- Big Brother, l'artiste face aux tyrans, Palais des Arts et du festival, Dinard, France
- Céramiques d’artistes depuis Picasso, works from the collection of the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Centre d’art contemporain Doual’art, Douala, Cameroon 
- Propos d’Europe 10: des artistes belges, Fondation Hippocrène, Paris, France

2010
- Beyond Limits, a selling exhibition of modern and contemporary sculpture, Sotheby's, Chatsworth Castle, Derbyshire, UK
- Circuit Céramique : la scène française contemporaine, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, France
- Liefde voor het boek, Hasselt, Belgium
- Between the Sacred and the Profane, CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium
- Sèvres, Porcelaines Contemporaines, Musée de l'Ermitage, Palais Menchikov, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Château de Rambouillet, France
- Who is afraid of the Museum?, Museum Hof van Busleyden Mechelen, Belgium
- Olbricht Collection, Essen & Berlin, Germany
- New Monuments, Middelheimmuseum, Antwerp, Belgium
- Coup de ville en chambre d'amis Tentoonstellingsproject , Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
- Weizijwijzei, Landart, Flandres, Belgium
- Manifestation d’art contemporain, Centre culturel français, Yaoundé, Cameroon
- Métissages à Rochefort : Rencontre entre un artiste et une technique textile, Rochefort, France

2009
- New Love, Princessehof Museum of Ceramics, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
- Feux continus Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, Grand Hornu, Belgium
- La Conquista della Modernità, 1920-2008, Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy
- Flower Power, Villa Giulia, Verbania, Italy
- Silencio, Johan Creten - Paolo Grassino - Sarkis, Eglise Saint Jean, Le Monastier organized by FRAC Auvergne, France

2008
- Grandeur, curated by Anna Tilroe, Sonsbeek, The Netherlands
- Sand: Memory, Meaning and Metaphor, The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, USA
- Pour ainsi dire, Vasistas Gallery, Montpellier, France
- La dégelée Rabelais, la Dive Bouteille, Trich, Château de Jau, FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, France
- Christian Lacroix, Musée Réattu, Arles, France
- Trinch !, Cases-de-Pène, Château de Jau, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

2007
- Intrusions, Petit Palais, Paris, France
- Dialogues Méditerranéens, Saint-Tropez, France

2006
- From Arp to Bourgeois, Wallace Collection, London, UK
- Céramique Fiction, Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen, France

2005
- Contrepoint 2, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

2004
- Because the earth is 1/3 dirt, C.U. Art Museum, Bolder, Colorado, USA
- Métissages, MACO, Oaxaca, Mexico

2003
- Fragile, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims, France

2002
- The Erotic Life of Clay: Sex Pots, Fine Arts Gallery, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, USA
- Beyond the Male Pale, J.M. Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin, USA

2001
- Water on paper, CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium

2000
- Confrontational Clay, The Artist as Social Critic, traveling show, USA
- Gardens of Pleasure, John Michael Kolher Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA

1999
- Garten der Flora, Museum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Germany

1997
- 5th International Istanbul Biennal, Yerebatan Cistern, Istanbul, Turkey
- Sables brulants, Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen, The Netherlands
- Retour d’Italie, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, Paris, France
- L’exposition informelle, FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France

1996
- Masculine Measures, John Michael Kolher Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA

1995
- Fémininmasculin, Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

1991
- Incrustaties, Picaron Editions, Amsterdam, Netherlands

public collections

- Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
- Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA
- John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin, USA
- Taylor New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, USA
- Peter Marino Art Foundation, Southampton, USA
- Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
- Fondation Villa Datris, L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
- Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, Paris, France
- Musée de la chasse et de la nature, Paris, France
- Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris, France
- Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris, France
- Sèvres - Cité de la Céramique, Sèvres, France
- FRAC Pays de la Loire, France
- FRAC Auvergne, France
- FRAC Languedoc - Roussillon, France
- Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France
- The Olbricht Collection, Germany
- Museum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Germany
- Collection de la ville de Sint-Truiden, Belgium
- Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende, Belgium
- Collection du Ministère de la communauté Flamande de Belgique, Belgium
- Collection de la province du Brabant Flamand de Belgique, Belgium
- Bonnafantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands
- Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
- Collection de la ville de Sonsbeek, The Netherlands
- Cultural Heritage Agency, Amersfoort, The Netherlands

bibliography


2022
- BESTIARIUM | Gallimard

2021
- LEMOINE Colin | Drawing a blank | Solfatara

2020
- LEMOINE Colin | Miroir parlant | Johan Creten Studio
- TISSIER Noëlle, BOURRIAUD Nicolas, LEMOINE Colin, Gaillard Stéphane | I Peccati (Villa Medicis) | Johan Creten Studio

2018
- Bergman Joost | Naked roots | Lannoo

2017
- LEMOINE Colin | 8 Gods | Almine Rech Gallery Publications
- La traversee / The Crossing | Johan Creten Studio

2015
- LEMOINE Colin | Alfred Paintings | Perrotin

2014
- CRETEN Johan, LEMOINE Colin, Van Eeghem Kurt | Strange fruit | Galerie Transit

2013
- Johan Creten - Perrotin monograph | Perrotin

  • June 4, 2024
    Galerie Magazine — 3 PAGES

  • April 1, 2024
    Artforum — 2 PAGES

  • March 21, 2022
    Geste/s — 6 PAGES

  • March 1, 2022
    Collect Arts Antiques Auctions — 6 PAGES

  • September 1, 2021
    H art — 4 PAGES

"Creten’s work speaks to the storm within us all, as individuals and as a society, and deals with his usual themes: nature, the female form, power, politics and spirituality."  Gay Gassmann, T Magazine - New York Times.

« His sculptures inhabit a space between worlds, an intercept of surreal and expressionist, erotic dream and brutal physicality. » Claudia Barbieri, The New York Times

Johan Creten (Born 1963, Belgium) is a Flemish sculptor based in Paris. He has been trained as a painter but soon turned to ceramics and monumental bronze for his work. 

Called « The Clay Gipsy » and working wherever he has the opportunity, from Miami to Mexico, from Den Haag to New York, Johan Creten is considered a frontrunner in the revival of clay with Lucio Fontana and Thomas Schütte.

He has exhibited, among many other places, at the Louvre Museum, at the Musée National Eugène Delacroix in Paris, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, the Istanbul Biennale, the Mamco in Geneva and the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp. 

In 1996 he was awarded the Prix de Rome and could stay as resident in the Villa Medici.

Between 2004 and 2007 he was visiting artist at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres. 

In 2009 he was nominated for the Flemish Culture Prize.

In 2013, he held the Theodore Randall Chair at the Alfred University, New York State. 

In 2014, he presented a majoro solo exhibition of monumental bronzes in the culpture park of the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp.

In 2015, an entire room was dedicated to his pioneering work in the exhibition "CERAMIX" at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht and La Maison Rouge in Pari, in 2016.

In 2016, a solo exhibition "La Traversée" at the Centre Régional d'Art Contemporain in Sète, South of France, gathered no less than 60 emblematic and never-before-seen ceramic sculptures and monumental bronzes. 

In 2020, a major solo exhibtion was dedicated to the artist at the French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici. 


by Ludovic RECCHIA

Press release Johan Creten, Miami, 2008

Born in Sint Truiden, Johan Creten, studied in Gand, Paris and Amsterdam. Adding to his statelessness, he spent two years at the Villa Medici in Rome in 1996, then three years in 2000 as an artist in residence at the Bass Museum of Art (Miami Beach). From June 2004 to January 2008, he was an artist in residence at the legendary Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, the French national porcelain factory. There, he went on to develop a series of sandstone and porcelain sculptures entitled "Vagues ("waves") or Odore di Femmina". Reviving forgotten techniques, such as the use of wood kilns, Creten thrived and his concepts blossomed into unexpected shapes.

There are very few sculptors who have grasped, with so much relevance, the plasticity of Ceramics. An essential paradox, formal and narrative all at once, permeates Creten's work: a very powerful baroque treatment applied to classical shapes. In his early work, crude, popular imagery coexisted with an astonishingly beautiful and refined sensuality. In art as in man, Eros and Thanatos mingle in complex ways.

Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers' paintings of mussel shells led Johan Creten towards his "Odore di Femmina" series. Not only are "mould" and "mussel" homophonous in French, but "moule" also means "cunt", and when Broodthaers referenced Belgium's favorite shellfish, he also evoked the female sex organ, the origin of the world. The "Odore di Femmina" are either reliefs, either classical female busts with a pastillage of rose petals, fruits or seaweed instead of mussels. All kinds of metonymies come subtly into play, so as to evoke the woman through her perfume, the perfume through the flower and, lastly, the sex through the thousands of vulvar excrescences enshrouding her body. These female sandstone busts are reminiscent of antique Venus Anadyomene ("Venus rising from the sea"), with measurements corresponding to Hellenistic models.

These "Odore di Femmina" take us back to the bacchantes, and to Ophelia as portrayed by 19th century symbolist painting. Marine life, the sea as mother, are central to Creten's "Vagues" series, with their impressive, truly monumental tentacle-like convolutions reminiscent of sea monsters and leviathans. "La Très grande vague ou Une sirène pour Palissy" (fittingly acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in Ostend) or "The Pearl" (with the subhead "The Lovers - The Octopi") are free of all ambiguities. Out of their impossible movements emerges a monstrous and gorgeous kind of love, rendered as a mix of attraction and repulsion.

Creten makes up new mythologies out of scraps of stories, bits of History and art history, and personal experiences and travels, freely blending the personal and the intimate with the universal.

Ludovic RECCHIA - Research Assistant with the Musée royal de Mariemont (Belgium)


by Alfredo Triff

Johan Creten "Strange Fruit", 2008

“An inconsolable memory, a memory of shadows and stone.”—Marguerite Duras

In one of his essays pondering Nietzsche’s idea of history, critic Gene Ray asks: “What face to show this wounded world of lost selves?” One possible answer to this question is to aesthetically wriggle away from chaos to form, which Belgian artist Johan Creten successfully pulls off with Strange Fruit, his recent show of sculptures at Perrotin Gallery in Wynwood.

Creten’s diverse and colorful ceramics mix the aesthetic of end-of-Nineteenth-Century group Les XX (only more abstract, devoid of superfluous metaphysics), with Arthur C. Clark’s science fiction and a postmodern cynical humor out of H. R. Geiger. To top it off, there’s movement, drama and passion.

The pieces’ texture vary from shiny to vascular, to bristly, to tentacular; their form from human to animal to basaltic. There is something ancient and geological a beyond-history quality of lithification, whereby sediments compact under pressure, expelling liquid, gradually become solid rock (which is why Creten’s work has been displayed as counterpoint to archeological findings in museums, such as the Paris’s Louvre). The Belgian artist exploits certain themes which have made a comeback into post-postmodern sensibility, such as the idea of late-Nineteenth Century animism, which is present in the sculptor’s more abstract pieces, like the reddish and flowery “Mr. Rabbit” (or “Little Head”), resembling ciliated fossils or calcareous algae imbued with life.

There is the octopus, which survives in Cretan and Greek poetry and iconography into the Classical period -and makes a brief appearance in the Art Nouveau jewelry. The decadent sensibility was fascinated with the cephalopod’s intelligence, its suicidal mating behavior and the bizarre constitution of its body.

Creten’s Les Poulpes (2005) communicates a malevolently sensual movement: Two octopuses mate, their big bulbous gelatinous heads one on top of the other, as they form a white inchoate mass of tentacles, peppered with blood spots as if coming out of the stone’s crevices (the “sang de boeuf” used in the glazing process).

A Gothic and then Romantic theme transformed by fin-de-siècle Symbolist literature is that of the implicit human-like quality of the monster. Creten’s Un Grand nez triste, a twisted sculpture of a male figure with a thick protruding nose, his drooping eyes exuding grief, is akin to Verlaine’s Beaux demons, or the kind of corporeal deformity defended by Oscar Wilde in his Picture of Dorian Gray: “There’s animalism in the soul, and the body had its moments of spirituality. The senses could refine, and the intellect could degrade.”

Creten implodes figuration and abstraction: “La Disgraziata” (1998), an imposing 6.3 feet statue of a headless female trunk, shrouded by a pink colored fibrous lattice (as if a swelling vascular epidermis) and Miami Grace (2001), covered with a reddish coral dress, stand both detached, as petrified testimonies of a nuclear conflagration. They are not depictions of women per se, but conceptual revisions of the classical canon -as if layers of history over history.

The show’s interrogatory posture reminds me of the image of the charred wristwatch in Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour. It is as if, coming back to Ray’s essay, one would witness “the end of history as human memory and human time dispersing into geological memory.” I welcome that all of this is presented not as the final synthesis of a great unfolding, but more like a tectonic unassuming process. In the end, Creten is not making a comment about history or antihistory, but more like the poetic flight of an invisible bird we no longer need to watch.

Alfredo TRIFF

2024

Johan CRETEN

June 1, 2024 - July 26, 2024

new york

130 Orchard Street

Strangers Welcome

Genesis BELANGER, Anna-Eva BERGMAN, Johan CRETEN, Bernard FRIZE, Thilo HEINZMANN, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, Klara KRISTALOVA, Takashi MURAKAMI, Paola PIVI, Gérard SCHNEIDER

March 28, 2024 - May 18, 2024

paris

2BIS AVENUE MATIGNON 75008 PARIS

Perrotin Matignon

Johan CRETEN

January 18, 2024 - March 23, 2024

paris

2BIS AVENUE MATIGNON 75008 PARIS

How to explain the Sculptures to an Influencer ?

2023

ELMGREEN & DRAGSET, JR, Koak, Jean-Marie APPRIOU, Iván ARGOTE, Daniel ARSHAM, Genesis BELANGER, Anna-Eva BERGMAN, Sophie CALLE, Julian CHARRIÈRE, Johan CRETEN, Jean-Philippe DELHOMME, Mathilde DENIZE, Lionel ESTÈVE, Jens FÄNGE, Bernard FRIZE, Laurent GRASSO, Vivian GREVEN, Hans HARTUNG, Charles HASCOËT, Thilo HEINZMANN, John HENDERSON, Leslie HEWITT, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, Dora JERIDI, Susumu KAMIJO, Bharti KHER, Klara KRISTALOVA, Georges MATHIEU, Takashi MURAKAMI, Sophia NARRETT, Katherina OLSCHBAUR, Danielle ORCHARD, Jean-Michel OTHONIEL, Paola PIVI, Gabriel RICO, Claude RUTAULT, Emily Mae SMITH, Jesús Rafael SOTO, Josh SPERLING, Tatiana TROUVÉ, Xavier VEILHAN, Bernar VENET, Pieter VERMEERSCH, LEE Bae, QI Zhuo, SHIM Moon-Seup

October 16, 2023 - November 10, 2023

paris

60 RUE DE TURENNE 75003 PARIS
2BIS AVENUE MATIGNON 75008 PARIS

Matignon - October+ group show

Daniel ARSHAM, Johan CRETEN, Jean-Philippe DELHOMME, JR, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, Xavier VEILHAN

May 27, 2023 - July 29, 2023

paris

2BIS AVENUE MATIGNON 75008 PARIS

Salon Perrotin Matignon

Jean-Marie APPRIOU, Sophie CALLE, Johan CRETEN, Jean-Philippe DELHOMME, Jens FÄNGE, Laurent GRASSO, Hans HARTUNG, Thilo HEINZMANN, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, JR, Klara KRISTALOVA, LEE Bae, Gabriel DE LA MORA, Takashi MURAKAMI, Tavares STRACHAN, Pieter VERMEERSCH

January 10, 2023 - April 5, 2023

paris

2BIS AVENUE MATIGNON 75008 PARIS

Salon Perrotin Matignon

2022

Daniel ARSHAM, Sophie CALLE, Jiang CHENG, Johan CRETEN, Jean-Philippe DELHOMME, Jens FÄNGE, CHEN Fei, GELITIN, Laurent GRASSO, Charles HASCOËT, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, JR, Izumi KATO, CHEN Ke, Klara KRISTALOVA, Trevon LATIN, ROMEO MIVEKANNIN, Danielle ORCHARD, zéh PALITO, Christiane POOLEY, Claude RUTAULT, SONG Kun, Kathia ST. HILAIRE, Xavier VEILHAN

June 9, 2022 - July 30, 2022

paris

76 RUE DE TURENNE 75003 PARIS
10 IMPASSE SAINT CLAUDE 75003 PARIS

Regarde-moi

Johan CRETEN, Jean-Philippe DELHOMME, Jens FÄNGE, Bernard FRIZE, Laurent GRASSO, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, Izumi KATO, Klara KRISTALOVA, ob, Otani Workshop, Paola PIVI, Gabriel RICO, Aya TAKANO

February 9, 2022 - March 19, 2022

tokyo

Piramide Building, 1F, 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku

Head in the Clouds

2021

Iván ARGOTE, Sophie CALLE, Johan CRETEN, Jean-Philippe DELHOMME, Bernard FRIZE, ELMGREEN & DRAGSET, Hans HARTUNG, Laurent GRASSO, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, Thilo HEINZMANN, Alain JACQUET, Takashi MURAKAMI, Jean-Michel OTHONIEL, Paola PIVI, Claude RUTAULT, Xavier VEILHAN, Yuji UEDA

June 3, 2021 - July 31, 2021

paris

2BIS AVENUE MATIGNON 75008 PARIS

Salon Perrotin Matignon

Iván ARGOTE, Daniel ARSHAM, Johan CRETEN, Jean-Philippe DELHOMME, Jens FÄNGE, Bernard FRIZE, Laurent GRASSO, John HENDERSON, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, Hans HARTUNG, Bharti KHER, Klara KRISTALOVA, Takashi MURAKAMI, Jean-Michel OTHONIEL, Paola PIVI, Yuji UEDA

- March 9, 2021

paris

2BIS AVENUE MATIGNON 75008 PARIS

Salon Perrotin Matignon

2020

Sophie CALLE, Johan CRETEN, Bernard FRIZE, Laurent GRASSO, Thilo HEINZMANN, KIM Chong-Hak, LEE Bae, Georges MATHIEU, Jean-Michel OTHONIEL, Park Seo-Bo, Maria TANIGUCHI, Xavier VEILHAN

November 24, 2020 - February 6, 2021

hong kong

807, 8/F, K11 ATELIER Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road,Tsim Sha Tsui

Floating World

Johan CRETEN

October 17, 2020 - January 30, 2021

paris

76 RUE DE TURENNE 75003 PARIS

Entracte

JR, Sophie CALLE, Johan CRETEN, Wim DELVOYE, Bernard FRIZE, Laurent GRASSO, Hans HARTUNG, John HENDERSON, Leslie HEWITT, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, Bharti KHER, Klara KRISTALOVA, Georges MATHIEU, Paola PIVI, Gabriel RICO, Xavier VEILHAN, XU ZHEN®

April 30, 2020 - June 18, 2020

Shanghai

3/F, 27 Hu Qiu Road, Huangpu District

Wonderland

2018

Johan CRETEN

September 8, 2018 - October 21, 2018

new york

130 Orchard Street

Alfred Paintings

Johan CRETEN

January 10, 2018 - March 10, 2018

paris

76 RUE DE TURENNE 75003 PARIS

Sunrise / Sunset

2015

Johan CRETEN

September 9, 2015 - October 31, 2015

new york

909 Madison Avenue New York

God is a Stranger

2014

Johan CRETEN

October 2, 2014 - November 15, 2014

hong kong

50 CONNAUGHT ROAD CENTRAL, 17TH FLOOR - HONG KONG

Fireworks

Chiho AOSHIMA, Daniel ARSHAM, Sophie CALLE, Johan CRETEN, Tracey EMIN, Daniel FIRMAN, GELITIN, Laurent GRASSO, JR, Gregor HILDEBRANDT, KAWS, Bharti KHER, Klara KRISTALOVA, MR., Guy LIMONE, Ryan MCGINLEY, Takashi MURAKAMI, Prune NOURRY, Jean-Michel OTHONIEL, Paola PIVI, Terry RICHARDSON, Germaine RICHIER, Aya TAKANO, Xavier VEILHAN, Andy WARHOL, Marina ABRAMOVIC, Valerie BELIN, Guerrilla Girls, Alex KATZ, Annette MESSAGER, Yoko ONO, Rob PRUITT, Cindy SHERMAN, Taryn SIMON, Mickalene THOMAS, Agnès THURNAUER, Tom WESSELMANN

May 27, 2014 - June 25, 2014

paris

60 RUE DE TURENNE 75003 PARIS

G I R L

curated by Pharrell Williams

2013

Johan CRETEN

January 12, 2013 - February 23, 2013

paris

76 RUE DE TURENNE 75003 PARIS

The Vivisector

2012

Sophie CALLE, Johan CRETEN, Wim DELVOYE, ELMGREEN & DRAGSET, Lionel ESTÈVE, Bernard FRIZE, Bharti KHER, KOLKOZ, Klara KRISTALOVA, Guy LIMONE, Takashi MURAKAMI, Jean-Michel OTHONIEL, Paola PIVI, Claude RUTAULT, Michael SAILSTORFER, Xavier VEILHAN

March 10, 2012 - April 21, 2012

paris

76 RUE DE TURENNE 75003 PARIS

2010

Johan CRETEN

January 9, 2010 - March 13, 2010

paris

10 IMPASSE SAINT CLAUDE 75003 PARIS

Dark Continent

2009

Chiho AOSHIMA, Sophie CALLE, Johan CRETEN, Bernard FRIZE, GELITIN, Bharti KHER, KOLKOZ, Klara KRISTALOVA, Martin OPPEL, Jean-Michel OTHONIEL, Paola PIVI, Aya TAKANO, Tatiana TROUVÉ, Piotr UKLANSKI, Chris VASELL, Xavier VEILHAN, Peter ZIMMERMANN

March 14, 2009 - May 16, 2009

paris

76 RUE DE TURENNE 75003 PARIS

"I PECCATI" AT THE VILLA MEDICI

"I PECCATI" AT THE VILLA MEDICI

Johan CRETEN

"ENTRACTE" AT PERROTIN PARIS

"ENTRACTE" AT PERROTIN PARIS

Johan CRETEN

JOHAN CRETEN "DE VLEERMUIS" AT PETIT PALAIS

JOHAN CRETEN "DE VLEERMUIS" AT PETIT PALAIS

Johan Creten

Johan CRETEN  "DJUR NATUR SKULPTUR"

Johan CRETEN "DJUR NATUR SKULPTUR"

Johan CRETEN

Johan Creten "Alfred Paintings", Perrotin New York

Johan Creten "Alfred Paintings", Perrotin New York

Johan CRETEN

Johan Creten "Sunrise / Sunset", Perrotin Paris

Johan Creten "Sunrise / Sunset", Perrotin Paris

Johan CRETEN

Johan Creten, "La Traversée" at CRAC, Sète with curator Jess de Gruyter

Johan Creten, "La Traversée" at CRAC, Sète with ...

Johan CRETEN

« God is a stranger » GALERIE PERROTIN NEW YORK - Sept 09 - Oct 31, 2015

« God is a stranger » GALERIE PERROTIN NEW YORK ...

Johan CRETEN

Johan Creten, "The Storm",Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, Belgium, May 24 - September 21, 2014

Johan Creten, "The Storm",Middelheim Museum,...

Johan CRETEN

Interview of Johan Creten by Astrid de Cazalet for Blouin Artinfo during "The Storm" at the Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, Belgium, May 24 - September 21, 2014

Interview of Johan Creten by Astrid de Cazalet...

Johan CRETEN

Johan Creten, teaser of the exhibition "Fireworks" at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong Oct 02 - Nov 15, 2014

Johan Creten, teaser of the exhibition...

Johan CRETEN

Johan Creten "The Vivisector", Perrotin Paris

Johan Creten "The Vivisector", Perrotin Paris

Johan CRETEN

Johan Creten, Group Show, Perrotin Paris

Johan Creten, Group Show, Perrotin Paris

Sophie CALLE, Johan CRETEN, Wim DELVOYE, ELMGREEN & DRAGSET, Lionel ESTÈVE, Bernard FRIZE, Bharti KHER, KOLKOZ, Klara KRISTALOVA, Guy LIMONE, Takashi MURAKAMI, Jean-Michel OTHONIEL, Paola PIVI, Claude RUTAULT, Michael SAILSTORFER, Xavier VEILHAN

"Dark Continent" - Johan Creten, documentary by Philippe JOPPIN

"Dark Continent" - Johan Creten, documentary by...

Johan CRETEN

Exhibition view ar Sonsbeek Park, Arnhem,Netherlands

Exhibition view ar Sonsbeek Park,...

Johan CRETEN

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