"Between Day and Dream"


September 12 - October 2017


On view from September 12 to October 14, 2017, PILEVNELI Gallery will celebrate its grand opening with an exhibition by Paris based Belgian artist Johan Creten. Entitled “Between Day and Dream”, the solo exhibition will feature Johan Creten’s never-seen-before wall sculptures and clay paintings alongside seminal works including “Pliny’s Sorrow”, “Bi-Boy Black” and “Le Banc des Amoureux”. Inspired by one of the early poems of famous German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, the title reveals all the richness of his spiritual artistic expression. The show will mark Creten’s return to Istanbul 20 years after his participation at the 5th International Istanbul Biennale curated by Rosa Martínez, with his series “Odore di Femmina”.
A recent article in Forbes magazine describes how the Belgian artist continues to play a vital role in pioneering the revival of modern ceramics. Creten is the artist who managed to get clay and bronze accepted as contemporary art forms. Creten’s works are full of symbolism, a one to one simple interpretation of his work is almost impossible. Viewers are invited to look below the surface to uncover hidden meanings about the story of man and the human condition. The artist himself points out that his stories can be social, political or sexual.
Inspired by a line in Mozart’s Opera “Don Giovanni”, the artist’s best-known clay series “Odore di Femmina” is the epicenter of the exhibition. A torso and vulvas from this series reference femininity and according to Rosa Martinez they are the “origin of life”.
His 4.5-meter-high bronze simulation “Pliny’s Sorrow” reveals the complex relationship between power and vulnerability, hinting at ecological disaster. Heroic and melancholic the oil-soaked bird with outspread, broken wings dreams of a world devoid of oil spills.
This exhibition will also present pieces from his “Glory” series – sculptures made of gold luster on glazed stoneware. Intense symbolism in these glamorous works are achieved by abstraction to detailed forms that are full of erotic and historical references.
Created especially for the exhibition, “Istanbul Vulva” is a shimmering sculpture made of crafted petals evoking the mystery of femininity that simultaneously trigger feelings of desirability and repulsion.
The exhibition, “Between Day and Dream” by Johan Creten, is accompanied by a book of the same title, including texts from Jérôme Sans, Rosa Martínez and Colin Lemoine.
Johan Creten lives and works in Paris.