Stephan Balkenhol

Sculptures and Paintings of Death

Works of art arise from inner necessities. Painters, sculptors, photographers or - more generally and thus blurredly - "artists" work against finiteness by leaving traces of their being. They form or design with the most diverse methods and materials and yet, in their untiring actions, it becomes clear that they themselves and ultimately also their works cannot resist transience.

The sculptor Stephan Balkenhol has already created many sculptures, reliefs and prints in his artistic work, in which he deals with death in a symbolic way. In “Knochenmann” (bone-man) or in series of skull reliefs, his personal interest in the eternally final mystery of humanity is revealed, and here, as in all his works, his unique treatment of wood becomes clear. In the work process Balkenhol takes away material to add something to the piece of art. He is an author and picture maker. The wood loses volume and gains shape. Contents are open to observation and at the same time evade the layers that have not been cut away.

The Museum for Sepulchral Culture, which has been dedicated to the topics of dying, death, burial, mourning and remembrance since 1992, shows old and new works on death in collaboration with Stephan Balkenhol. The open and light-flooded architecture of the museum designed by Wilhelm Kücker creates special room situations for the mostly colorfully painted sculptures. It is the first thematic museum exhibition in his adopted home Kassel to take place in a familiar location on the Kassel vineyard: Balkenhol went to school in the Friedrichsgymnasium opposite in the 1970s.

A scientific catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.

Museumscafe, Museum für Sepulkralkultur