Living Contemporary

Living Contemporary

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 21. Woman in Red Dress with Red Handbag   .

Property from the Collection of Ulrich Otto Sauer, Germany

Stephan Balkenhol

Woman in Red Dress with Red Handbag

Lot Closed

June 10, 10:21 AM GMT


28,000 - 35,000 EUR

Lot Details


Stephan Balkenhol

b. 1957

Woman in Red Dress with Red Handbag

painted wood

Plinth height: 114 cm., 44¾ in.

Figure height: 51 cm., 20 in.

Overall height: 165 cm., 65 in.

Executed in 2013.

Studio of the Artist

Arndt Fine Art, Singapore

Gallery Leu, Munich

Acquired from the above by the present owner

Woman in Red Dress with Red Handbag is typical of the artist’s approach to both medium and subject. Figures on pedestals carved by hand out of large single pieces of wood and then painted in a limited palette, Balkenhol’s sculptures have a rough surface which reveals both the nature of his materials as well as his working method. The chisel marks gives them an individuality which contrasts with the universal nature of his main subject, the human figure.

Balkenhol’s figures are anonymous, ordinary people, devoid of emotions and expressions, without any specific cultural attributes. The artist does not offer us a narrative, inviting the viewer to find meaning. Even the titles are neutral and do not offer any clue.

Balkenhol graduated from the University of Fine Art of Hamburg in 1982, an institution shaped by the minimalist and conceptualist movements of the 1970s. Firmly rooted in figuration, Balkenhol’s work is to some extent a reaction to this. One of his aim was to revive in contemporary art the exploration of the human figure, which has been central to artistic production for millennia. However, the small scale and rough appearance puts his work at odds with traditional figurative sculpture. At the same time, there is something distinctly German about Balkenhol’s work, shaped by the countries rich tradition of wood carving.

One of the most renowned sculptors working in Germany today, Stephan Balkenhol has been exhibiting his work internationally since the late 1980s, and has received numerous public commission over the course of his career.