AKINCI presents a new exhibition by Stephan Balkenhol, one of the most authentic and acclaimed sculptors of his generation. Exploring current issues using traditional media, Stephan Balkenhol has created a body of work that reassesses the very foundations of contemporary culture.
With his sculptures, usually carved out of one massive block of wood, Stephan Balkenhol was among the first artists of his generation to reintroduce the figure to contemporary sculpture.
With a hammer and chisel, the artist gouges his figures out of the tree trunk. He takes no effort to hide the shavings and traces of the tools visible in the wood with its knots, grain and cracks. Rather this is part of the work - an inheritance that was perhaps passed on by his minimalist teacher Ulrich Rückriem. In most aspects, however, Balkenhol did not follow the Minimalist and Conceptual trends he was exposed to as a young sculptor.
Inspired by the social and political changes of the 80’ s, the artist felt it was necessary to reinvent the figure “to resume an interrupted tradition”