Reference Entry

Balkenhol, Stephan

John-Paul Stonard

in Oxford Art Online


Published online October 2000 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T096692

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(b Fritzlar, West Germany, Feb 10, 1957).

German sculptor. He attended the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg (1976–82), where he studied under and worked as a student assistant for Ulrich Rückreim. In 1989 he was awarded the Förderpreis Zum Internationalen Preis des Landes Baden-Württemberg and the Bremer Kunstpreis. Balkenhol is known for his roughly hewn sculptures of people and animals, usually painted in a simple descriptive manner and displayed on wooden plinths. Although the earliest carved wooden full-length figures of 1982–3 were naked, Balkenhol soon clothed his figures, to minimize comparisons with Expressionist or allegorical wood carving. The broad, generic application of paint suggests both anonymity and personality, pointing to his central theme of the place of the individual in contemporary society. In the mid-1980s Balkenhol began working on outdoor public commissions, through which he explored the possibilities and problems of monumental sculpture. For the exhibition Doubletake: Collective Memory and Current Art (London, Hayward Gal., ...

Reference Entry.  441 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sculpture and Carving ; 20th-Century Art ; Contemporary Art

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