Stephan Balkenhol was born in 1957 in Fritzlar (Hesse) in Germany. Today he lives and works between Karlsruhe, Germany and Meisenthal, France.
Balkenhol, an internationally renowned German artist who has been concentrating on the human figure for over two decades, began his sculptural process of figurative wood carving in the mid-eighties – as a response to the abstract, minimalist and conceptual approaches of the Hamburg School of Fine Arts where he studied from 1976 to 1982 under Ulrich Rückriem.
In the 1990s he added animals and hybrids, and more recently architecture to his artistic vocabulary. His practice also comprises drawings and photographs.
Since 1992: Professor at Akademie für Bildende Künste, Karslruhe.
Balkenhol has been representing contemporary figures, either as free-standing sculptures or reliefs in wood, of the everyday man or woman in order to strip them of any narrative content and onto which the viewer is able to project his own image.
Selected public collections:
The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, USA
The Los Angeles County Museum, USA MOCA, Los Angeles, USA
The Art Institute of Chicago, USA
The Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, Germany
The Seattle Art Museum, USA
The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, USA
Eli Broad Foundation, Los Angeles, USA
Chase Manhattan Art Purchase Program, New York, USA
Johnson County Community College, Kansas, USA
Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, USA
Le CEAAC, Strasbourg, France
Mission Bay Community Center, San Francisco, USA
Pasadena Museum of California Art, Los Angeles, USA