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German sculptor Stephan Balkenhol opens exhibition at Deweer Gallery
Installation view.
OTEGEM.- The current exhibition is the 11th one-man show of the German sculptor in Deweer Gallery. The first exhibition took place in 1987. Not only Stephan Balkenhol’s exhibitions, presented by the gallery every three years, make him one of the true values of the gallery’s program. Also his outdoor sculpture ‘Paar auf Drehscheiben’(Pair on turning platforms) (2008), erected near the gallery’s entrance, make him one of the most well-known artists of Deweer Gallery.

Stephan Balkenhol (°Fritzlar, Hessen, Germany, 1957 / works in Karlsruhe and Berlin, Germany, and Meisenthal, France) is a sculptor in the strict sense of the word; he carves figurative motifs, representations of people and animals in wood, both as standing, three-dimensional sculptures, and as two-dimensional relief panels. Recently Balkenhol combines his typical, so-called column figures with colorful relief panels; in this way he attempts to link sculpture to painting and to the representational capacities of this medium.

Historically, the importance of Stephan Balkenhol, lies in the fact that he, precisely in the aftermath of Concept and Minimal Art, was able to reconcile a minimal formal language with figurative sculpture in wood. Over the last three decades, far removed from the prejudices that exist concerning traditional European wood carving and its supposed irreconcilability with modern and contemporary art, Stephan Balkenhol has developed a wholly original and inimitable oeuvre.

The most important, recent solo shows of Stephan Balkenhol include the St. Elizabeth Church in Kassel, Germany (2012), the Musée de Grenoble, France (2010), the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany (2009), the National Museum of Art Osaka, Japan (2005) and the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany (2003). In 2006-2007, an extensive exhibition of his work travelled from the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany to the MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, Germany and on to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg Mönchsberg, Austria.

From April 12, 2014 onwards the Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Germany presents a big survey exhibition (until August 24, 2014). The museum also publishes a catalogue. And another exhibition is scheduled by the Landesmuseum of Linz, Austria (from October 2014 onwards).

Although Stephan Balkenhol is mostly known for his figurative wooden sculptures, many monumental bronze sculptures of his can be found in the urban public space: in Germany a.o. in Hamburg, Leipzig, Berlin and Kassel and in Belgium in Kortrijk and Menen. Sculptures of the internationally renowned artist are included in major museum and private collections worldwide, a.o. in the collection of the M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Belgium.

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