Exhibition organized by the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici curated by Noëlle Tissier with the support of the Almine Rech and Perrotin galleries.

I Peccati, Villa Medici, Rome, 2020

Initially scheduled for spring 2020, Johan Creten’s exhibition I Peccati was eventually presented from October 15, 2020 to May 23, 2021 at the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici.

Miroir - Rome 3, 2019; Muses et Méduses, 2015–2019; Miroir - Rome 4, 2019

The exhibition I Peccati brings together, for the first time and with such breadth in Italy, a collection of fifty-five works by the artist, in bronze, ceramic and resin. They have been reunited and juxtaposed to some historical works by Lucas Van Leyden (1494-1533), Hans Baldung (1484-1545), Jacques Callot (1592-1635), Barthel Beham (1502-1540) and Paul van Vianen (1570–1614) – all of which are milestones underlying Johan Creten’s thinking.

"Glorie - Zwam 5 and 6", 2019 ; "Bikkels", 2019
"The Herring", 2018
“His sculptures inhabit a space between two worlds, a surrealist and expressionist interception, an erotic dream and brutal physicality.”
Claudia Barbieri, The New York Times
"Urna di Serpenti - The Garden n°1, n°8 and n°9", 1997
Teaser of the exhibition by Gerrit Schreurs, 2020
"And The Stains are So Deep - Deep Stains", 2003-2012
"God is a Stanger", 2014-2015 ; "Le Perroquets, when Owls become Parrots - Rouge", 2011-2012 ; "Strong Sad Woman", 2015-2019 ; "La Borne", 2011-2019

“With Johan Creten, the sins are not seven in number. Seven, this implacable number, the same as the Bible’s sacraments and Rome’s hills. Here, the sins are infinite and unlimited, inexhaustible. They are not numerable, only designatable.

Sins are not all capital, they can be imperial, imperious, peripherical, insidious, insignificant, invisible. They are always short of calculation and language.

The seven capital sins are little when compared with silliness, barbary, boredom, mutilation, regret, melancholy, and terror — in short, with life. Thus, Johan Creten’s sculptures have nothing to do with moral or sanction, guillotine, or censorship. They speak of sins, of life that merges desire and pain, hope and misery, luxury and anger, love and death, Eros and Thanatos.

They speak of amphibian life, between the Styx and Paradise. They speak of instinctive life, when hearts beat, when sneaks coil, when wings deploy, when vulvas gape, when the curtain moves and the naked truth emerges from it, at last, that hypnotic Medusa. May sin not be, after all, the tired form of purity? Does it not expose our condition of extremely fallible men? Is sin not, to quote Victor Hugo, a beautiful ‘gravitation’?”

  Colin Lemoine

"Glorie - Zwam 3, 4, 5 and 6", 2019

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