Untitled (man with red trousers)
Wawa wood, painted. Height approx. 166 cm. - The face of the figure has been reworked by the artist in 2012.
The face of the figure has been reworked by the artist in 2012.
Eckhard Nordhofen on Stephan Balkenhol's sculptures:
“Balkenhol gives the man a nose and a mouth, hitting exactly that fine line between expression and statuette. There is nothing abstract about it. Instead, there is normality, but not so much as something that is normative or might remind us of something normative.
The man is neither thin nor fat. His waist is a bit rounded - the way people are when they are no longer young but not yet old. There is nothing flamboyant about him. He is presented in colours that do not force themselves onto us or become an issue in themselves. These colours are just part of him, as he would otherwise be colourless and would ultimately end up somewhere near monochrome classicism, genteel simplicity and quiet grandeur.
The wood from which he has been carved has remained unsmoothed. Otherwise it might have ended up shining. It has been deliberately created to allow the two options of perception that were demonstrated most clearly by Rembrandt and the Impressionists. When we view their art at close quarters, we can see the impasto paint and the pigment surface. We feel we might still be able to smell the varnish. But if we then look at the work of art again from the right distance, everything suddenly falls into place. We begin to imagine space, light and life.
This is precisely what happens with Balkenhol's figures. Close by we can see the crude traces of the chisel, so that we wonder how this impression of fierce workmanship can disappear so completely when we step back.” (Eckhard Nordhofen, Stephan Balkenhol: Gestalt ohne Bedeutung, in: Andreas Franzke (ed.), Stephan Balkenhol, public, Die Skulpturen im öffentlichen Raum 1984-2008, pp.32/33.)
Mai 36 Galerie, Luzern; Private Collection, Germany