In the 55th anniversary year of Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Stephan Balkenhol is an indispensable part of our program. That’s why we’re thrilled to kick off the year with a new solo exhibition of the renowned sculptor and friend of the gallery. The show will display new wood sculptures, reliefs, and drawings.
In addition to being a sculptor, Stephan Balkenhol (*1957 in Fritzlar) has always also been a draftsman. He once described the relationship between the two media as follows: “Drawing on the one hand is a very direct, immediate medium. A few lines are enough to tell big stories; you can turn the world on its head, make cows fly, and phrase the unspeakable. Drawings and photographs have always accompanied my work. They’re often preliminary studies for sculptures, sketches, or concepts that don’t necessarily need to be fully realized as sculptures. I’ve been working on the line between sculpture and drawing in recent years, in the form of woodcut drawings.”
It is precisely this polarity that finds expression in his new solo exhibition. Whether on paper or in three- dimensional space, it is impossible to ignore the presence of Balkenhol’s figures. Their appearance is so familiar to us from our everyday lives that the artist’s faces are habitually called “mirrors of our time.”They’ve been populating our cultural landscape for years, especially in Europe, and so we think we know them intimately whenever we see a new work by the artist. But this very ambivalence in their eyes continually leaves room for something new. One might assess the figures differently depending on one’s mood and experience them as a companion through one’s own imagination.
Stephan Balkenhol’s works are represented in numerous museum collections, including those of the Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, MUDAM in Luxembourg, Musée de Marseille, Kunstmuseum Basel, Museu Coleção Berardo Lisbon, the MoMA in New York, and the MOCA in Los Angeles. There will be a solo exhibition of the artist at Landesmuseum Wiesbaden in late 2023.
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