Stephan Balkenhol

(* 1957 Fritzlar)
1957 Born in Fritzlar, Hesse
1976 – 1982 Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg with Ulrich Rückriem
1983 Karl Schmidt Rottluff Scholarship
1990/91 Lectureship at the University of Fine Arts in Frankfurt/Mail (Städelschule)
1992 Professorship at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe
2014 Awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Aurélie Filippetti, the French Minister of Culture and Communication.
Stephan Balkenhol lives and works in Karlsruhe, Berlin and Meisenthal, Lorraine.

Stephan Balkenhol became known in the early eighties with works that seem to place him outside the tradition of modernism. His sculptures are not only figurative, but are cut from wood in a traditional handicraft process. Many of his figures are variations on a basic type: the quietly upright man, dressed in a white shirt and dark trousers. He also only ever smoothes the surfaces of his works to such an extent that the characteristic traces of woodworking are still preserved. In this way, Balkenhol avoids an illusionism that could make the viewer forget that he is facing figures here.
In a conversation with Thomas Schütte, Stephan Balkenhol once admitted that he had always initially tried to make the expression of his figures as ambivalent as possible and thus keep them open to different interpretations by different viewers.

Stephan Balkenhol: "On the one hand, the human figure is the occasion, the subject that I set myself, that I grapple with, that I study and that also offers me a certain resistance; I like this kind of challenge ... Then it is also about creating a picture. It is then not only the figure that is important when you see it and experience it in a space, but from that it can convey all kinds of things. It's important that you don't stick to the surface, but that, like a mirror, other things can be reflected ..., moods, feelings, ideas. My works are not portraits in the concrete sense, they don't depict anyone in particular, but they are also not just signs or symbols of 'man'."

Stephan Balkenhol

Entstehungsjahr: 2023
Größe: 63 × 22 × 17 cm
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