Museumscafe, Museum für Sepulkralkultur

"Tro-Tro", Paa Joo, Ghana

Museumscafe, Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Foto: Wolfgang Günzel



6th April – 14th Juli 2019
opening: 5th April 2019, 7.30 pm

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 in the end 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 as in all his works, his unique treatment of wood is evident here. In his working process Balkenhol takes away material to add something to the piece of art. He is author and picture maker. The wood loses volume and gains shape. Contents are open to observation and at the same time elude into 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 spatial situations for the mostly colored sculptures. It is the first thematic museum exhibition in his adopted home Kassel to take place in a location familiar to him on the Kassel vineyard: In the 1970s, Balkenhol went to school in the Friedrichsgymnasium opposite.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue (approx. 25,- Euro) and the edition "Dance macabre" (woodcut 2019), created exclusively for the Museum for Sepulchral Culture by the artist, which will be offered for sale at a price of 890,- Euro plus shipping costs if applicable.

Please send orders to

or visit our publication shop


The exhibition will also be accompanied by an extensive programme.

Folder for the exhibition PDF


The exhibition is supported by




Dance macabre
2019, woodcut, 50 x 70 cm
Edition: 50 pieces, signed and numbered
exklusively for the Museum for Sepulchral Culture Kassel

Since the 15th century, the aesthetic examination of the motif of the dance of death (Totentanz) has reflected the realization that all people - regardless of age, social status or profession - can be recalled from death to the afterlife at any time. In the late Middle Ages and early modern times, the moral aspect was at the forefront. One should be prepared, therefore without sin. Stephan Balkenhol lets a woman dance dynamically in the arms of a bone man dressed in a black suit. One might almost think that the two are connected vividly in dance, which has always been regarded as an expression of joie de vivre. Who leads, who follows? Who believes to lead and only follows? Who follows without noticing that he leads?

The edition "dance macabre" which Stephan Balkenhol cut into wood and printed for the Museum for Sepulchral Culture, also announces the upcoming exhibition, which we are preparing together with the renowned sculptor and which will open in our museum on April 5th , 2019. The edition will support the financing of the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue.



The price of the graphic "Totentanz" is EUR 890,- plus shipping costs if applicable.
For the binding purchase via e-mail or telephone please contact us:

Kerstin Hering: or ++49 561 91893 13


Here you can find a contribution by 3sat

deadline. Stephan Balkenhol

The roughly carved human images of the sculptor Stephan Balkenhol stand in the field of tension between life and death. The exhibition can be seen until 14 July at the Museum für Sepulkralkultur in Kassel.

available until 4 July 2019