Berlin Art@Site Stephan Balkenhol Grosser Mann mit kleinem Mann

Stephan Balkenhol


Grosser Mann mit kleinem Mann

Pariser Platz 6A
Die Skulptur von Stephan Balkenhol wurde 2009 zum 50. Jahr der Grundsteinlegung des Verlagshauses Axel Springer enthüllt. Das Verlagshaus wurde 1959 direkt an der Grenze des amerikanischen Sektors zum sowjetischen Sektor errichtet. Es stand 28 Jahre lang unmittelbar an der Berliner Mauer. In die Skulptur wurden Originalteile der Mauer integriert.
Die Skulptur „Balanceakt“ von Stephan Balkenhol erinnert an den 50. Jahrestag der Grundsteinlegung des Axel-Springer-Hauses. Der Verleger Axel Springer errichtete es 1959 unmittelbar an der Grenze zum sowjetischen Sektor Berlins, dem späteren Verlauf der Berliner Mauer. Sein Haus wurde ein Leuchtturm des freien Westens.
An seinem Traum von der deutschen Einheit hielt Axel Springer gegen alle Widerstände fest. Sein unwandelbares Bekenntnis zu Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung der gesamten Nation hat dazu beigetragen, die Mauer zu überwinden. Stephan Balkenhol schuf das Bauwerk 2009, 20 Jahre nach dem Fall der Mauer, auf Anregung der Bild-Zeitung. Die 5,80 m hohe Arbeit besteht aus bemalter Bronze, Beton und Teilen der Berliner Mauer.
The sculpture by Stephan Balkenhol was unveiled on the 50th year of the foundation stone of the publishing house Axel Springer of 2009. The publishing house was built in 1959 right on the border of the American sector to the Soviet sector. It stood for 28 years directly at the Berlin Wall. In the sculpture original parts of the wall were built.
The sculpture"Balancing Act" by Stephan Balkenhol commemorates the 50th anniversary of the foundation stone of the Axel Springer building. The publisher Axel Springer erected in 1959 near the border of the Soviet sector of Berlin, the later course of the Berlin Wall. His house was a lighthouse of the free West.
At its dream of the unification of Germany, Axel Springer held against all odds. His unchanging commitment to freedom and self-determination of the whole nation has helped to overcome the wall. Stephan Balkenhol created the monument in 2009, 20 years after the fall of the wall, at the suggestion of the Bild newspaper. The 5.80 m high work consists of painted bronze, concrete and parts of the Berlin Wall.
Stephan Balkenhol’s (1957, Fritzlar, Germany) sculptures of men and women, mostly carved out of one massive block of wood with polychrome surfaces, are worldwide known and appreciated. His figures are a kind of twenty-first century “everyman” – neither idealized nor individualized. A critic once described his ‘standing man’ as ‘the type of man you would never notice in a crowd.”
They can be considered as archetypes of the human figure, as they seem to copy the human uniformity. Their poses can easily be mistaken for a viewer looking at them in a museum or gallery. There is no pathos speaking out of their gestures or expressions. Balkenhol’s figures look almost alive, they look almost as somebody we know. Their gaze seems to be fixed to the near as well as to the far spot beyond reality. They do not have a specific expression though they have something which goes beyond that. As Balkenhol himself comments his figures are ”above all” “beautiful, silent, lively”. They “say a lot and nothing”.
Balkenhol’s sculptures are lodged in the temporal and stylistic continuity that extends from ancient Egypt through medieval polychrome wood statuary to Renaissance portraiture. At the same time Balkenhol’s work refers to principles of minimal art, and one may very well see it as a heritage of Ulrich Rückriem’s teaching.
Stephan Balkenhol has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States, including the Musee de Grenoble, France (2010), Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2009), Staatsliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden Germany (2006), Museum der Moderne, Salzbourg, Austria (2006), The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Osaka, Japan (2005), Sprengler Museum, Hannover, Germany (2003), Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands (2001), C.G.A.C. Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2001), The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C., USA (1995). Balkenhol attended the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg and was taught by Ulrich Rückriem.