A collection of enigmatic – and funny – wooden sculptures
Stephan Balkenhol (born in 1957) is an internationally renowned German artist who lives and works between Karlsruhe and Meisenthal (France). He is famous for his monumental sculptures and his interventions in public places. Through his works, he reinvents figurative wood carving from the Middle Ages by choosing everyday characters as subjects instead of holy figures, while adding elements of popular culture to his sculptures. Even though he creates his characters from tree trunks – wood being his favourite material – he always places the human figure at the centre of his works. Standing on pedestals, his characters look down on centuries of artistic creation. He has already produced the equivalent of a large forest of human characters made of organic materials, thus underlining the relation between mankind and Mother Earth. By giving expressiveness to anonymous bodies, Balkenhol delivers a story at the crossroads between collective memory, history of art, and history of mankind.
Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Paris Marais), Galerie Deweer (Otegem, Belgique) et Galerie Löhrl (Mönchengladbach, Allemagne).
Photo : Stephan Balkenhol dans son atelier à Kassel, Allemagne
© Photo de Henrik Hornung
Courtesy de l’artiste
Le Portique, Contemporary Art Centre of Le Havre
30, rue Gabriel Péri