Lot 12
  • 12

Stephan Balkenhol

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Description

  • Stephan Balkenhol
  • ENGEL
  • painted bronze

Provenance

Acquired from the artist by the present owner

Literature

Andreas Franzke, Stephan Balkenhol public, Ostfildern, 2009, no. 87, illustration of another cast in colour on the cover; illustrations of another cast in colour pp. 98, 99 & 129

Catalogue Note

Stephan Balkenhol’s sculptures, often roughly hewn from Wawa wood or modelled in clay and cast in bronze, have played an important part in the revival of contemporary figurative sculpture. In direct contravention of the predominant anti-individualist art of the latter half of the 20th Century, the artist’s striking figures have acted as a counterbalance to the hegemony of abstract art. Drawing from the distinguished history of German sculptural practice from Tilman Riemenschneider to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Balkenhol’s figures are as much a celebration of form as they are of materials. In 2007 Stephan Balkenhol was invited to undertake a solo exhibition by the Caja de Burgos in which he chose to exhibit another cast of the present work. In his catalogue of Balkenhol’s works in public spaces Andreas Franzke writes about the Burgos Angel: ‘Visitors to the cathedral cloister unexpectedly encounter, practically face-to-face, a larger-than-life-sized man wearing black trousers and a white shirt. The figure is looking upward intently. This gesture is underscored by the figure’s posture, and the result is that it is easy to overlook its two mighty wings and is therefore the incarnation of an extra-terrestrial creature. Angels have always tickled the imagination of painters and sculptors, even though they are incorporeal, which means that they are difficult to imagine in solid form. Is it indeed possible to imagine them in a sacred place, appearing in human guise and dressed in modern clothing? Comparable to Balkenhol’s sculptures of hybrid creatures, the angel is a creature that signals normality and, at the same time, seems to have shifted in to the irrational. Some believers may feel that the heavy, larger-than-life figure has the surprising appearance of a modern guardian angel. It seems impossible that this angel, with its huge bronze wings, would be able to hover in the air’ (A. Franzke, Stephan Balkenhol public, Ostfildern, 2009, p. 24).
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