Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to announce a pop-up exhibition in Hong Kong for two weeks in November 2019 with new sculptures by German artist Stephan Balkenhol and new paintings by Swedish artist Andreas Eriksson. A collaboration with Hong Kong art advisory Ticolat Tamura, this exhibition is located opposite the renowned Shanghai Tang Mansion on Duddell Street in Central and marks the first time these two artists are shown together in Asia. Preceding the gallery's inaugural participation in West Bund Art & Design in Shanghai, this presentation aims to further consolidate the reputations of Balkenhol and Eriksson in Asia.
A group of four unique sculptures by Stephan Balkenhol of anonymous human figures on tall pedestals is presented, each hand-carved from singular blocks of poplar or wawa wood. The figures, two male and two female, wear simple clothing and adopt confident yet unassuming poses. The surface of each work is left rough, exposing the knots and cracks in the texture of the wood as well as the trace of the artist's tools. Also presented is an arresting freestanding male form wearing a black shirt and white trousers placed atop a trestle. This figure represents the universality of humanity and yet at the same time he remains a stranger to the viewer.
A celebrated sculptor, Balkenhol is recognised not only for the technical prowess with which he hand carves each of his wooden sculptures, but also for his devotion to exploring figuration in contemporary art. In 2019, Balkenhol had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Sepulchral Culture, Kassel, Germany and was included in the group show ‘A Cool Breeze' at Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic.
‘Semaphore Lidan' is a majestic large-scale painting by Andreas Eriksson featuring the earthy tones typical of the artist's work above a sea of deep inky blue. Bursts of primrose are also interspersed with the near-translucent washings of taupe and charcoal scattered across the top of the canvas. In this work, the viewer is drawn into a richly coloured and conceptual investigation of the Swedish artist's surroundings. A Nordic vista crystallises in the viewer's mind, while the brushstrokes on the canvas remain varied and interpretative. Also presented are two series of richly coloured medium and smaller scale paintings that hover enigmatically between abstraction and figuration.
Working deep in the Swedish countryside, Eriksson's strength lies in his ability to elicit a palpable sense of place whilst remaining resolutely abstract. His paintings reveal stark combinations of colour and texture; thinly applied fields of paint sit alongside pronounced areas of thick impasto, resembling both organic forms and aerial, topographical views. This new body of work follows a solo exhibition at Braunsfelder Family Collection, Cologne, Germany earlier this year and precedes the artist's fourth solo exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery in spring 2020 of a new body of tapestries.
Stephan Balkenhol was born in 1957 in Fritzlar, Germany. He now lives and works in Meisenthal, France. Balkenhol has developed a significant repertoire of public commissions spanning his twenty-year career, with installations in front of the Blackfriars Bridge in London, at the entrance of the Hamburg; at the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt, Germany; and in Kassel and Leipzig, Germany.
Notable solo exhibitions include: ‘Stephan Balkenhol', Museum of Sepulchral Culture, Kassel, Germany (2019); ‘Stephan Balkenhol', Kunsthalle Emden, Emden, Germany (2018); Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Palais Gogolevski, Moscow, Russia (2016); ‘Stephan Balkenhol' Landes Museum, Linz, Austria (2015-2014); ‘Stephan Balkenhol', Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Ravensburg, Germany (2014); ‘Stephan Balkenhol', ‘Unlimited Bodies - Corps Sans Limite,' Palais d'Iéna, Paris, France (2012); ‘Stephan Balkenhol,' Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France (2010); ‘Stephan Balkenhol', Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany (2008-2009); ‘Stephan Balkenhol,' Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany (2006); ‘Stephan Balkenhol,' National Museum of Contemporary Art, Osaka, Japan (2005); ‘Stephan Balkenhol', Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (2005); Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (2003); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA (1995); The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (1991).
Balkenhol's works are included in prominent collections internationally, including the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Smithsonian Institution, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy and The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan.
Andreas Eriksson was born in 1975 in Björsäter, Sweden. He lives and works in Medelplana on the south bank of Lake Vänern, Sweden. Eriksson's artistic practice is highly expansive, encompassing a wide range of different media, including painting, photography, sculpture and installation.
Notable solo exhibitions include: ‘Cutouts, Mistakes and Threads', Braunsfelder Family Collection, Cologne, Germany (2019); ‘Kria', Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2018); ‘Work in Progress', Skissernas Museum, Lund, Sweden (2017); Public art commission, Nya Karolinska Sjukhuset, Solna, Sweden (2018); ‘Röta, bråka, skäkta och häckla', Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden which toured to Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, Norway; Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland and the Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland (2014-2015); The Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011, Venice, Italy (2011); ‘Roundabout the hardship of believing' and ‘Walking the Dog, Lying on the Sofa,' MUMOK, Vienna, Austria (2008).
Eriksson's works are included in prominent collections internationally including; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; FRAC, Auvergne, France; MUMOK, Vienna, Austria; Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, Norway; Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenberg, Sweden; Moderna Museet, Stokholm, Sweden; Skövde Art Museum, Skövde, Sweden; National Public Art Council, Sweden; Sundsvall Museum, Sundsvall, Sweden and Uppsala Art Museum, Uppsala, Sweden.
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