Johan Creten at Perrotin Gallery, Paris
I discovered Johan Creten’s sculptures late last year through Mousse Magazine’s report of FIAC. His Greek gods series instantly struck me as original works of art. Creten’s revision of the classical was revered through his all-encompassing knowledge of ceramics- a persistent medium in Creten’s oeuvre. Besides his passion for antiquities, Johan Creten also explored themes like spirituality of nature, the woman body and politics. The exhibition titled Sunrise/Sunset at Perrotin presented a more intimate and spiritual side of his work. A gigantic 4-metre-tall bronze sculpture De Gier (The Vulture) situated in front of the gallery entrance implied that the exhibition was going to be a political one, one that would demonstrate the power of nature and men. Works like The Price of Freedom and Madame Butterfly -both created in New York-
uttered political tones with their silent protests against the power of men. The Price of Freedom appeared especially “terrorising” when it was surrounded by mysterious, Muslim-looking female faces -some depicted with hijab and Niqab while others showed plain facial features. Visitors were suggested to sit on the Observation point series of pedestal-looking stools to observe and contemplate Creten’s thoughts and purposes.
For me, the exhibition was a demonstration of power dynamics between men and nature, between patriarchy and matriarchy. The exhibition title Sunrise/Sunset could also interpret as Yin/Yang, in a way which it highlighted how the natural world was becoming divided with one force overpowering the other -may it be gender or belief- and the need to restore the balance of power. #JohanCreten #Perrotin #AlmineRech #galleries #FIAC #moussemagazine #mousse #parisartscene #ceramics