Since 1982, Stephan Balkenhol's work has centred on figurative wooden sculptures. Balkenhol is best known for his painted human and animal figures with their stoic expressions and highly statuesque forms, both features uncommon in modern sculpture. By contrast, for the last few years Balkenhol has cast bronzes predominantly for large-format sculptures. With “Ikarus“ he relies on a figure from Greek mythology: borne aloft by his feather, wax and rope wings, Icarus comes too close to the sun and crashes into the sea. The flight of Icarus and his fatal plummet from the skies has repeatedly been addressed in art. But Balkenhol's monumental figure shows Icarus' body after the crash, thrown onto the ground. In his piece, Balkenhol shows the dissolved wings as delicate fine entities compared with the colossal body that it could not longer support. Although Balkenhol's figures are normally always coloured, “Ikarus“, cast from heavy wrought iron with the wings worked in bronze remains unpainted. The dark metal itself expresses the gravity of the body and the violence of its crash.
Rydingsvard, Ursula von
Vries, Auke de