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1 CENTRE RÉGIONAL D ART CONTEMPORAIN OCCITANIE PYRÉNÉES MÉDITERRANÉE PRESS KIT LA TRAVERSÉE / THE CROSSING - JOHAN CRETEN > MONOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION Curator Noëlle Tissier Press contact +33 (0) / +33 (0)

2 Caption for cover Trojan Horse n 3, 1992/1993. Black and blue glazed white terracotta, metal plinth, 147 x 53 x 47 cm. Unique. Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery, Galerie Perrotin & Johan Creten. Sven Laurent

3 LA TRAVERSÉE / THE CROSSING JOHAN CRETEN Monographic exhibition > Following his artist residency at Villa Saint Clair in Sète in the summer of 91, the young Belgian sculptor Johan Creten was invited to present the works that he created during his stay in Sète in two exhibitions: the first, a group exhibition at the Espace Paul Boyé and the second, a solo exhibition based on a specific project in a venue chosen by the artist: the quarantine in the harbour of Sète where a series of sculptures are arranged in abandoned cells. There was only one way to go and see the works of art: via a boat crossing to reach this place located between the land and the huge expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. A crossing that is full of symbolism, a journey on the Styx between life and death, towards an unknown place used to isolate the sick and outcasts. 25 years later, La Traversée/The Crossing is even more symbolic, fortified by changes that have taken place in the world and the 350 th anniversary of the creation of the harbour of Sète. Changes can also be seen in the work of the artist who has since travelled extensively, from Miami to Mexico and from The Hague to Hong Kong, with historical exhibitions such as at the Bass Museum in Miami in 2003, in the Renaissance Rooms at the Louvre Museum alongside Bernard Palissy in 2005 and more recently, at Galerie Perrotin, New York in The project at the CRAC provides an opportunity to discover works of art that illustrate the mystery of nature in a juxtaposition between flowers and algae and a strange and fascinating bestiary, ranking beauty as a saving grace. The exhibition presents outstanding works of art some of which were produced with the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, illustrating the artist s passion and brilliance in ceramics. This exhibition encompasses the power of ceramic works alongside monumental bronzes, another dimension of Johan Creten s work, brilliantly asserted at The Storm exhibition at the Middelheim Museum sculpture park in Antwerp in Like ceramics, this technique suffered rejection for a long time and is currently forging a new place. Johan Creten displays its tremendous potential thanks to innovative vision combined with indisputable command of traditional techniques. Creten s work speaks to the storm within us all, as individuals and as a society, and deals with his usual themes: nature, the female form, power, politics and spirituality, Gay Gassmann comments in T Magazine The New York Times about his exhibition in Antwerp. Several monumental sculptures such as Pliny s Sorrow will also be presented in this exhibition. The artist s recurring themes, already present during the 1991 exhibition, have continued to evolve. First of all there is the relationship between mother and sea implied in the series Odore di Femmina that made him famous. Busts of women covered in flowers, like relics from the seabed that have survived but have been corroded over time by water. Through his works the artist makes reference to our distress in the face of existential questions, such as the place and responsibility of man in our society, an essential question perfectly embodied by the sculpture Sad Woman. His sculptures inhabit a space between worlds, an intercept of surreal and expressionist, erotic dream and brutal physicality, Claudia Barbieri writes in the New York Times. Today, Johan Creten is considered a forerunner in the revival of clay in contemporary art alongside Thomas Schütte and in the footsteps of Lucio Fontana. Recently he played a central role in the exhibition CERAMIX: from Rodin to Schütte at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht then at Maison Rouge, in Paris, where a whole room was devoted to his artwork.

4 Odore di Femmina - La Malcontenta, Coloured Glazed stoneware, 100 x 54 x 46 cm. Unique. Courtesy Johan Creten & Galerie Perrotin Gerrit Schreurs.

5 The Trojan Horse n 3, 1992/1993 Black and blue glazed white terracotta. Metal plinth. 147x 53 x 47cm Unique. Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery. Galerie Perrotin & Johan Creten Sven Laurent.

6 View of the exhibition Pliny s Sorrow at Almine Rech Gallery. Brussels, Courtesy Johan Creten & Almine Rech Gallery Krist ien Daem.

7 Monumental work in gilded bronze Why does Strange Fruit always look So Sweet? at the Jardin Exotique of Monaco as part of the exhibition The Nature of Clay, 2014, 305 x 114 x 102 cm. Courtesy Johan Creten & Galerie Perrotin. MPA.

8 Wedgwood, 1993 Blue glaze on red terracotta. 71 x 47 x 55 cm. Unique. Courtesy Johan Creten & Galerie Transit. Villa Arson - Jean Brasille.

9 Wargame Tondo Il, 2014/2015. Glazed stoneware. Diam.70 x 8 cm. Unique. Courtesy Johan Creten. Gerrit Schreurs.

10 Odore di Femmina - Fortuna I, 2015/ Gold lustre on red glazed stoneware. Unique. Courtesy Johan Creten. Gerrit Schreurs.

11 JOHAN CRETEN English Biography Johan Creten (born 1963 in Belgium) is a Flemish sculptor based in Paris. He is working wherever he has the opportunity, from The Hague to New York, from Miami to Mexico. Considered a frontrunner in the revival of ceramics in contemporary art with Thomas Schütte and Lucio Fontana, he is also known for his large-scale bronze sculptures. Major examples of Creten s virtuosity were shown at Galerie Perrotin in New York in 2015 for his solo exhibition God is a Stranger. He exhibited, among many other places, in the Renaissance rooms of the Louvre Museum, in dialogue with Bernard Palissy, at the musée national Eugène Delacroix in Paris, the Bass Museum in Miami, the Istanbul Biennale, the Wallace Collection in London and the MAMCO in Geneva. In 1996 he was awarded the Prix de Rome and could stay as resident in the Villa Medici. Between 2004 and 2007 he was visiting artist at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres. In 2009 he was nominated for the Flemish Culture Prize. In 2013, he held the Theodore Randall Chair at the Alfred University, New York State. In 2014, he presented a major solo show «The Storm» at the Middelheim Museum in Antwerp. Johan Creten is represented by Galerie Perrotin in Paris, New York and Hong Kong, Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels and Galerie Transit in Malines, sponsors of the exhibition La Traversée. Johan Creten. Guillaume Ziccarelli

12 CENTRE RÉGIONAL D ART CONTEMPORAIN OCCITANIE PYRÉNÉES MÉDITERRANÉE 26 quai Aspirant Herber F Sète Tél. : +33 (0) OPENING HOURS Open daily, 12:30pm-7pm On weekends, 3pm-8m; Closed on Tuesdays Admission free DIRECTION Noëlle TISSIER ADMINISTRATION Manuelle COMITO EXHIBITION SETTING UP Cédric NOËL REGISTRAR Martine CARPENTIER PARTNERSHIPS & PUBLIC RELATIONS Sylvie CAUMET WEB Patrice BONJOUR VISITOR SERVICE Vanessa ROSSIGNOL DOCUMENTATION, VISITOR SERVICE Karine REDON EDUCATION SERVICE Cécile VIGUIER, Chantal SERIEX The Centre Régional d Art Contemporain in Sète overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, on the banks of the Royal Canal (Canal du Midi). Its architecture provides an extensive range of spacious volumes reflecting the industrial typology of the building. The architect Lorenzo Piqueras designed the current layout of this original venue combining spacious galleries with harmoniously soaring ceilings. The CRAC is based in the hub of historical and artistic, as well as touristic and economic communication channels that flow from south to north and from east to west. This venue devoted to artistic creation offers a programme of temporary exhibitions and site-specific projects, aiming to foster international partnerships and providing the general public with access to contemporary creativity. Furthermore, it sheds light on the interdisciplinarity of fields and practices at the very core of present and future contemporary arts by presenting unique works. As both a place devoted to the artistic creation, research and experimentation, the CRAC has to date exhibited over six hundred artists who represent both the national and international art scene. GUIDES TEAM Un Goût d Illusion - Montpellier

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