Johan Creten - 8 Gods
Poems by Colin Lemoine
29 x 32 cm - 11 3/8 x 12 5/8 inches
English / French
Edition of 1500
Almine Rech Gallery Publications
Published in conjunction with Johan Creten’s exhibition at Almine Rech Brussels (March - April, 2017), 8 Gods is a poetry book conceived as an evocation is a poetry book conceived as an evocation. It unveils a series of eight hitherto unseen sculptures, each corresponding to a female or male divinity inspired by classical Antiquity – an era whose presence has always been felt in the work of Johan Creten. The artist creates his own mythology, opening up the great doors to an immemorial pantheon that houses eight figures he has brought into existence over the past two years.
Art historian, independent curator and director of sculpture at the Musée Bourdelle, Colin Lemoine has written eight poems, each a tribute to one of Creten’s works. In lines of verse or in prose, whether stirring or disconcerting, these texts do not serve to illustrate the artist’s work, but rather to ornament it with a sovereign logic, indifferent to orthodoxy and beauty. In this sense, the poems are forms akin to Johan Creten’s sculptures – only they are built from words rather than clay.
In 2015, the artist began the series “Wargames” which is shown in its entirety here: these pieces vacillate between abstraction and figuration, conjuring up images of hybrid insects, perhaps a crossbreed of fly and bee. Some might see battle plans, geopolitical maps or even harrowing swarms, all of which question and destabilise our relationship with the world.
Whether looked upon as a theatrical staging or a contemporary temple, 8 Gods acts as a space wherein Johan Creten merges individual memories and History with a capital H in his own syncretic and lyrical universe.