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Stephan Balkenhol

Stephan Balkenhol is the premier spirit behind the revival of figurative sculpture in the early 1980s. He began making his trademark figurative sculptures in response to the abstract, minimalist and conceptual strategies of the Hamburg Academy of Fine Arts, on a heritage that ranges from early Christian sculpture to Modernism. Stephan Balkenhol's work is characterised by his colourfully painted and roughly hewn wooden sculptures and reliefs. Balkenhol's motifs are larger-than-life or dwarflike men, women and animals, heads and hybrid figures of humans and animals sculpted from huge tree trunks. The same tree trunks also serve as the plinths, which are inseparably joined to the figure.

Marks made by the tools, grooves, fissures and cracks remain visible, testifying to the working process. This does not preclude a strong sense of realism, reinforced by the treatment of contours, the pose of the figures and the way they are painted.

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Man with Light Suit and Dark Shirt, 2019

    wawa wood, coloured
    67.72 x 13.39 in (172 x 34 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Woman in Pink, 2019

    wawa wood, colored
    66.54 x 14.57 in (169 x 37 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Ghost, 2019

    wawa wood, colored
    80.31 x 48.43 in (204 x 123 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Grimace, 2019

    wawa wood, carved and colored
    61.81 x 61.81 in (157 x 157 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Woman (Abstract Form), 2019

    wawa wood carved, hewn and colored
    25.59 x 21.65 in (65 x 55 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Woman in Jeans, 2019

    wawa wood, colored
    Dimensions Variables

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Man with Dark Blue Jacket, 2019

    wawa wood, colored
    67.72 x 15.35 in (172 x 39 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Man with Black Trousers and White Shirt, 2019

    wawa wood, colored
    67.72 x 13.78 in (172 x 35 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Man (abstract Form), 2019

    relief, Wawaholz carved and hewn, colored painted
    30.71 x 23.62 in (78 x 60 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Man with black trousers and white shirt, 2016

    wawa wood, colored
    68.5 x 9.45 in (174 x 24 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Woman in grey blazer and boots, 2016

    wawa wood, colored
    66.93 x 9.45 in (170 x 24 cm)

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Aphrodite Bronzetto, 2016

    wawa wood, colored
    61.42 x 9.45 in (156 x 24 cm)


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