Stephan Balkenhol

About Artist: Stephan Balkenhol (German, b.1957) is a Contemporary sculptor born in West Germany, and is best known for his representational works carved out of wood. While attending the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg between 1976 and 1982, he studied closely with Ulrich Rückreim. Balkenhol’s totem-like sculptures, which are reminiscent of Folk Art and recall medieval carving techniques, expand the traditional role of the statue by featuring everyday people rather than celebrated historical figures. Balkenhol uses a variety of woods, including poplar and Douglas fir, and crafts his works out of single blocks of wood using hammers, power saws, and chisels. The sculptures, often representing men, women, and animals, and featuring serene, expressionless faces, have been interpreted as an exploration of the relationship between the figures themselves and the spaces or locations they occupy.

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