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© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019<br/>    Picture: Charles Duprat, Paris<br />

Stephan Balkenhol

Born 1957 in Fritzlar, Germany
Lives and works in Karlsruhe and Meisenthal

Grosses Relief Mann und Frau (Grand relief, homme et femme), 2007

Wood, painted
102 x 99 x 9 cm

The artistic work of sculptor Stephan Balkenhol centres on human beings. Balkenhol's men and women are sculpted from large, roughly hewn logs and outlined and then coloured. They are anonymous, often larger-than-life figures that reveal nothing of themselves, tell nothing, represent nothing. They stand, sit or kneel, are dressed in plain clothes, are without facial expression, without any speaking gestures. With no apparent emotion, they gaze into a void, remain aloof and enigmatic. The artist dispenses with any characteristic traits, social or socially critical features in order to give viewers the opportunity to reflect on their own feelings, memories, desires and hopes.

In "Großes Relief Mann und Frau", the two figures look past each other. The woman, albeit in the background, is portrayed larger than life. The man, shown in strict profile, is rather small by comparison. Their eyes do not meet, their lips are closed, the question of the relationship of these two persons remains unanswered.

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