Employing a wide symbolic vocabulary to reference the finitude of human life, Balkenhol has developed an extensive body of work on the subject during his career. The works on display, which include sculpture, relief and print, are unified by centuries' old symbols of occidental Sepulchral culture, from the motif of the bone man, to Christian images of the pietà and Memento Mori.
As a renowned sculptor, Balkenhol is recognised not only for the technical prowess with which he hand carves his wooden sculptures, but for his continual devotion to exploring the role of the figure within contemporary art. The artist's unique sculptures combine anonymous human figures with tall pedestals, hand carved from singular blocks, often of poplar or wawa wood. The figures emanate timelessness: simple, plain-coloured clothing and the confident yet unassuming poses of the everyday man.
This unique exhibition is presented in the Museum of Sepulchral Culture in the artist's adopted home of Kassel, in Germany. Founded in 1992, the museum is dedicated to all aspects of grave culture, from headstones, to funeral ritual and coffins.
6 April-14 July 2019