Stephan Balkenhol
German, born 1957

Painted wood
Four figures, each 65 x 19 x 14 inches

In 4 Figures, 2000, Stephan Balkenhol depicts four versions of the same rudimentary but realistically rendered modern Anglo man. Each figure is scaled down, and has an unevenly painted surface—the effect of using a broad paintbrush, which leaves much of the natural wood exposed. 4 Figures is characteristic of Balkenhol's work, visually and in its connections to the German woodcarving tradition and to sculpture's classical past. In this work the artist not only pays homage to the history of sculpture, but also critiques it with humor and irony. Rather than commemorating a...

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