Born in Sint-Truiden, Belgium, Johan Creten (1963) has been working on the move for 25 years, from Mexico to Rome, from Miami to Amsterdam. He currently lives in Paris, France. Creten started working with clay from the late 80s, when the medium was still a taboo in the art world. Earth was deemed dirty and damp, while the creator was also seen as an usurper of God, transgressing religious interdicts. Yet, at the same time clay represents “Earth Mother”, linking the sacred to the profane. Creten is one of the earliest exponents of using clay in the context of contemporary art and is considered a precursor alongside Thomas Schütte and Lucio Fontana. As a pioneer in the revival of modern ceramics, Creten continues to influence a generation of young artists today.
He has exhibited, among many other places, at the Louvre Museum, at the Musée Nationale Eugène Delacroix in Paris, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, the Istanbul Biennale, the Mamco in Geneva and the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp. 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 exhibition of monumental bronzes in the sculpture park of the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp In 2015, an entire room was dedicated to his pioneering work in the exhibition "CERAMIX" at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht and La Maison Rouge in Paris, in 2016.
— About Johan Creten excerpt from Perrotin