Stephan Balkenhol’s work is focused on the objective representation of the human figure. His sculptures, mostly carved from wood with traditional tools, invariably reveal traces of their creation process and materiality, this tension between roughness and precision being a characteristic trait of his oeuvre. Balkenhol’s creations exhibit proximity to portraiture, but are never stylized in an expressionistic or naturalistic direction.
Liberated from their context, without any identifiers of subjective orientation or emotional state and free of personal or sociological references, his figures appear to be archetypal. They are shown in a state of indifference and allow for the viewer to see in them whatever he chooses to. Especially in his sculptures in public space, the average contemporary person becomes aggrandized, raised to monumental status.
Balkenhol offers with his sculptures an exemplary formulation for modern man. The universal indeterminacy of his works emblematizes an essentially postmodern attitude towards life. Stephan Balkenhol is one of the internationally most important German sculptors whose work has been honored in many museum exhibitions. His sculptures are of a distinctly recognizable style and are exhibited in prominent collections and public space where they maintain the power to fascinate. Born in Fritzlar, Hessen, Balkenhol lives and works in Berlin, Karlsruhe and Meisental, France.