”A dirty dog, like a recumbent tomb effigy. Or an Olympia. Disturbing seahorses, seemingly transfixed. Or a Venus. Everywhere, undecidable forms, pure and impure, harrowing and voluptuous. Beaulieu-en-Rouergue as a paradise, but a paradise lost, after the sins and the history of humanity. The nave, bright and plain, and the cellar, dark and damp, are filled with some forty recent works by Johan Creten: ceramics, resins and bronzes that transform this Cistercian abbey into a sanctuary of hybrid beauty, as the plant kingdom meets the animal kingdom, and air flows through fire, earth, sea, flower and mermaid.
This oceanic exhibition hoists the world into a gigantic tide, when the heart overflows, when beasts become bogged down or scream, when gold is entangled with mother-of-pearl, impurity with the immaculate, the grandiose with detail, great church organs with small things, profusion with poverty.
A forerunner in the revival of ceramics, acclaimed throughout the planisphere, the Flemish artist Johan Creten draws up a magnificent bestiary, writes a golden legend, as apocryphal and impenetrable as dreams, and explores the mystery in a sacred space that he helps to reveal, to unveil. Art, like an epiphany.”
Text by Colin Lemoine