The sculptures and graphics of the artist Stephan Balkenhol, born 1957 in Fritzlar, Germany, evoke archetypical behavioral patterns of human existence and sentiment. From 1976 to 1982, Balkenhol studied at the Hamburg College of Fine Arts in the sculptor class of the strictly minimalist artist Ulrich Rückriem. After two scholarships, Balkenhol received a lecture at the Hamburger Kunsthochschule from 1988 to 1989. Afterwards, he taught at the Städelschule in Frankfurt until 1991. Since 1992, the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Karlsruhe has been the center of its activity.
Balkenhol works in sculptures, reliefs, drawings and graphic techniques such as lithography, woodcut and screen printing. His roughly carved and painted wooden sculptures are his trademark. It represents humans, animals and architectures, sometimes combined in a surreal way. Man is at the center of his work.
Wood is Balkenhol’s most important work material. Soft wood varieties such as poplar or vavala wood allow the artist to precisely work out the faces of his figures. In most sculptures, the figure is worked out of the wood in a manner, that the figure and base remain connected as a piece.
Apart from the sculptures and drawings, Stephan Balkenhol has also created an extensive work on bronze editions and prints. Few of his best sculptures are made in bronze with acrylic paint.