Stephan Balkenhol's figures of humans and animals, each one roughly hewn from the wooden block, have long since acquired their own unmistakable character. His human figures remain true to themselves. With benign yet emotionless looks on their faces and dressed in conventional attire, the men often in white shirts and black trousers, the women in sheath dresses, they convey an impression of timeless modernity and seem unimpressed by the hectic to-do about the forever new and spectacular goings-on around them. More recently, these painted figures have often stood in front of relief-like murals, thus combining sculpture and relief in one single work and, in defining their background and foreground, laying claim to a space of their own. Hardly any other contemporary sculptor is capable of a more exemplary portrayal of the modern human being. The materiality of the roughly hewn wood and the traces left by the traditional carving tools together create the impression of vague contours, an effect through which the individual identity of the represented human figure is transcended still further.
Stephan Balkenhol was born in the Hessian town of Fritzlar in 1957 and today lives and works in Karlsruhe/Germany and Meisental/France.