Opening:17 May, 2018
Professional visitors:17 May, 2018
Opening to public:17 May, 2018
For the occasion, an installation composed of five pieces that was chosen which dialogues with each other in order to highlight and put in evidence the very personal style and the special concept of the German artist. Sculptures carved in wood and low-reliefs are constant in his production. The human figure represented always as an iconic form, at the same time the contrast with some of his other pieces that follow a more abstract and minimalist line; influenced intellectually and artistically by the sculptor Ulrich Rükriem. Balkenhol developed his own language by approximation and contrast of Rükriem artistic thoughts.
Stephan Balkenhol´s participation in the special projects section of ARCO Lisboa 2018 is part of the intense program of exhibitions that Stephan Balkenhol has displayed in the last years. Among them, deserve to be highlighted the very recent Retrospective in the Center of Contemporary Art in Malaga – CAC Málaga – where the sculptures here we presented were previously seen – and New Sculptures first individual of Balkenhol in Barcelona; SENDA gallery.
The german sculpture has been characterized by the artist’s striving to re-ground figurative sculpture. He stood out against the prevailing tendencies is articulated through his very personal Technic. Balkenhol carving soft wood of Alamo and Obeche, materials that remain clearly visible in the work through chisel marks, cracks or knots in the wood. The work process left marks through slabs or splinters that contrast with polished areas. In most of the sculptures uses a single block of wood which usually polychrome to delimit the robes and theme include a pedestal in sculptures totem types that remains the popular art and refer to medieval carving techniques.
Balkenhol strength with his work an exchange with the viewer, which immerse in a deep atmosphere of complicity. The artist also underscores as part of the compromise with the contemporary, the different between the sculptural scale, as the ideal scale, and the human scale as the real standard.