10 NOVEMBER 2023 – 2 JUNE 2024

The internationally renowned sculptor Stephan Balkenhol is opening a special kind of window in time at Kunstmuseum Wiesbaden – an exhibition within an exhibition. He has created an art family that gathers for a museum visit and honors the collection of Old Masters at the museum. As at an important family celebration, the closest members of the family and their extended circle, including their animal companions, get together to see each other again and discuss what they have seen. This creates an informal dialog between current contemporary art and its artistic predecessors. The visitors enter the resulting spatial image and become part of the shared art-viewing experience. Traditional viewer relationships are broken up, set in motion, and unite all participants.

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023 Foto: Museum Wiesbaden/ Bernd Fickert

Balkenhol's artistic work is deeply rooted in European art history and its humanistic aspirations. At times, Balkenhol draws directly on this cultural heritage, transfers it into his very own style, and gives us a modern, contemporary variation of the goddess, as in the Venus of Milo, for example. His figures represent our everyday lives in a very lively way and thus create a great closeness to ourselves. Balkenhol's figures are always also ourselves.

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023 Foto: Museum Wiesbaden/ Bernd Fickert

„I enjoy looking at old masters in museums and value them as a source of inspiration. In contrast to science, in art it is often the case that you knock the old masters off their pedestals in order to assert your own new art. But I think it can also work like a relay race. You take the baton from your predecessor, carry it on and try to set your own 'best time'.“ – Stephan Balkenhol

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023 Foto: Museum Wiesbaden/ Bernd Fickert



Stephan Balkenhol (b. 1957 in Fritzlar, Germany) is one of the most renowned German sculptors of our time and famous for his coloured wood sculptures, as well as drawings and prints.

Balkenhol’s public bronze sculptures, some of which are of monumental dimensions, often entail an element of surprise, appearing in unusual places. Back in the early 1980s, Balkenhol resolutely turned his back on prevailing trends to embrace figuration. Working at the intersection between a minimalist and a concrete visual language as well as the rise of the Neue Wilde, he has made the human figure and fundamental questions around human existence the cons...
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