Stephan Balkenhol (b. 1957) is considered a pioneer in contemporary figurative sculpture and one of Germany´s most internationally renowned artists.
Most of Balkenhol´s sculptures, which he carves out of massive logs with a chisel and then paints, are anonymous figures. Men and women, but also animals, that reveal nothing, tell us nothing, represent nothing. They are single or groups of figures and relief-shaped sculptural pictures.
Stephan Balkenhol, who likes to situate his sculptures in unusual locations in urban public space, counteracts the tradition of the monument rarely honoring rulers, heroes and thinkers but by mostly showing the average, mundane, normal and anonymous. His seemingly inconspicuous shapes, which do not display any emotions, remain oddly absent, hardly tangible, enigmatic and fictional. Neither their age nor a nameable social position is discernable. In viewing his works, recognition merges with doubt, the pleasantly familiar with the unsettling strange.
By extensively taking back a psychologizing dimension, Balkenhol´s figures always act as a mirror that can reflect the feelings, wishes and hopes of the observer.
lives and works in Kassel, Karlsruhe and Meisenthal (France)
born in Fritzlar / Hesse
studies at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg
start of exhibition activity (Galerie Löhrl Mönchengladbach)
work scholarship of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
lectureship at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg
international sponsorship award of the state of Baden-Württemberg;
Bremen Art Prize
lectureship at the State Academy of Fine Arts of Frankfurt/Main (Städelschule)
lectureship at the State Academy of Fine Arts of Karlsruhe
professorship of Sculpture at the State Academy of Fine Arts of Karlsruhe
Well over 100 solo exhibitions in significant international museums and galleries since then; numerous participations in exhibitions and catalogues; acquisition of about 30 museums in Germany and elsewhere and over 60 percent for art projects.
first participation in an exhibition, IMPULSE I, Galerie Löhrl Mönchengladbach
first solo exhibition (promotion booth), Galerie Löhrl, Art Cologne, Germany
Galerie Löhrl Mönchengladbach
Stephan Balkenhol - Neue Arbeiten, Galerie Löhrl
(26.11.2016 - 28.1.2017)
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (CAC), Málaga (ES)
(19 Jan - 22. Apr 2018)
Kunsthalle Emden, Germany
(09 June - 16 Sep 2018)
Stephan Balkenhol - Skulpturen und Reliefs, Galerie Löhrl
(16 Dec 2018 - 09 Feb 2019)
Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel (DE)
from April 2019