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1957 Fritzlar
- lebt und arbeitet in Karlsruhe und Meisenthal

Stephan Balkenhol

The sculptures of artist Stephan Balkenhol, born in Fritzlar, Hessen, in 1957, conjure archetypical behavioural patterns of human existance and sentiment. Between 1976 and 1982 Stephan Balkenhol studied sculpture at the Hamburg "Hochschule für Bildende Künste" under the strictly minimalist artist Ulrich Rückriem. From 1988 to 1989, after having received two scholarships, Balkenhol was offered a teaching position at the Hamburg "Kunsthochschule". Afterwards, he taught at the Frankfurt "Städelschule" until 1991. Since 1992 Stephan Balkenhol has been working at the "Staatliche Kunstakademie" in Karlsruhe.
The quest for new means of expression and interpretations of everyday materials, is clearly reflected in Stephan Balkenhol's works. Since approximately 1982 the larger-than-life human figure and head, carved straight out of a block of wood, have determined the sculptor's creations. Stephan Balkenhol treats wood with traditional tools, always considering the wood as a living substance. Grooves, cracks, chips and fissures remain visible and document the sculpting process. The figure, the head, the face - in its bodily volume accentuated by color markings - are circumscribed, sometimes close to portraits and always containing a certain "family likeness", but always also including the necessary degree of generalisation for a large form.
Stephan Balkenhol's figures show no signs of subjective feelings or emotions and contain no sociological or socio-critical references. His figures have a completely autonomous presence with a generalising vagueness, which exemplifies the existential awareness of life of the post-modern man.


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