Stephan Balkenhol (*1957) lives and works in Meisenthal, France, and in Karlsruhe, where he teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts. He has been exhibiting regularly at the Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery since 1988. Following his two most recent public exhibitions – at the Musée de Grenoble in 2010/2011 and the Château de Malbrouck from September to December 2011, both in France – Stephan Balkenhol will now be surprising us with new works. The exhibition at the Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery begins on the Open Art Weekend (9th – 11th September 2011) and ends on the Art Weekend Munich (21st – 23rd October 2011).
Roughly carved and coloured, Stephan Balkenhol's wooden sculptures are unmistakable and world renowned. Although his world of motifs is also populated by animals and fantastic hybrid creatures, it mainly revolves around the human being. Men and women are shown in constant variations, often in nondescript clothing and standing with a minimum of gesture, but sometimes in surprising postures and with unexpected attributes. While no two figures are the same, the expressions on their faces, at once still and moving, have a typically enigmatic quality that rises above the individual. Their facial expressions seem to contradict the splinters, notches and cracks that cover their entire surfaces and testify to the artist's expressionist style of sculpture. It is precisely to this feature that his sculptures and reliefs owe their fascinating and unmistakable quality.