Models for The Bat at museum Beelden aan Zee


With the exhibition Naked Roots, museum Beelden aan Zee shows the first Dutch solo exhibition of Johan Creten. Bronzes, ceramics covered in shiny gold or brightly colored glazes and some historical pieces from Cretens own collection change the museum into a sensuous “Wunderkammer”. The official model for fountain The Bat is also on show, plus several models that came before, thus showing the process of how the sculpture came to be.


Johan Creten, ‘Naked Roots / Naakte Wortels’
Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague, The Netherlands
1 June – 23 September 2018
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm

Bats are intriguing, useful creatures who play a crucial role in the ecosystem by preying on insects. In Asian culture, bats symbolise wealth, luck and a fortunate old age. Here in the West, they represent both dark forces and a positive rescuing strength: take Batman, for instance, or the façades of great cathedrals where bats – in the form of waterspouts – keep demons at bay. Which is wonderfully appropriate to this burned-out church, the Broerekerk. The stairs on the bat’s back invite visitors to ascend – to symbolically conquer the bat, and in doing so, to transcend themselves.