Catalog published on the occasion of the presentation of Johan Creten's youthful drawings by Transit Gallery, Art on Paper, Brussels International Contemporary Drawing Fair, Bozar, Brussels, Belgium, 15 – 19.09.2021

Youth drawings
"Drawing a Blank"
La Solfatara

Drawing a Blank is the first volume in a series of publications devoted to Johan Creten's works on paper. This book includes 24 drawings made between 1987 and 1988 as well as a text by Colin Lemoine, for whom “Here the gesture and the impulse, the imagination, count”.

Drawing series 1987-1988, Art on Paper, 2021, Brussels, Belgium
“First there is the slow pull, so steady and gradual you scarcely notice it, then the acceleration, then the dizzy whirl and plunge to blackness.”
"All the King’s Men", Robert Penn Warren
“Summer Grounds”, Colin Lemoine in the book "Drawing a Blank", 2021, p.11

“On the drawings, sometimes dates, often titles. The drawings, one reads, were made in Paris, at the Cité des Arts, in 1987 and 1988. This tells one that Johan Creten is 24 years old and that his youth is a prerogative and his freshness a realm. One can imagine the pleasure taken in conquering, the desire to engage, the urge to do and be, to become and remain. Becoming and remaining: art is a present participle and a present of eternity. By working, Johan Creten remains — in galleries, collections, museums, manuals, history. The intoxication of paper, the intoxication of youth when, as Rimbaud says, ‘the instructive voices exiled’ at last permit solitude, true solitude, that which allows one to look at the profusion of the world: ‘Ah! the infinite egoism of adolescence, the studious optimism: how full of flowers was the world that summer!’ And it is during the summer, in the deserted city, in this capital returned to its mineral vacuity, that Johan Creten draws — ‘begin Augustus 1978’, ‘Eerste van September 1987’, ‘Le 18 Juillet 1987’. The weather is nice, summer is here, full of flowers of evil, phallic stems, sexual grass, bistre red, cobalt blue and solar yellow, one hundred years exactly after Van Gogh, who experienced relentless summer suns in Arles, as big as lightbulbs.”

Book specifications
    Colin Lemoine
    Translation: Patrick Lennon
    Language: French/English
    Catapult, Antwerp, Belgium
    32,5 x 39 cm
    71 pages
    Printed and bound in Belgium
    Edition of 1.000 copies
  • ISBN 978 -2-9554245-6-8
  • Published by
    La Solfatara, 2021

Please contact Studio Creten if you have any questions or need more information.