Although Stephan Balkenhol's roughly carved and partially painted wooden figures have long since become unmistakable, they have lost nothing of their fascination. His new works have acquired a spatiality that unites relief and sculpture in one single work: an abstract, coloured relief is brought into a rapport with the sculpture in front of it, the latter always taking the form of a figure on a pedestal. The motifs revolve around a universally valid imagery of man and beast. The material is always coarsely hewn wood, the traces of the artist's hand always being an integral part of the work. Balkenhol: "My sculptures do not tell a story. They have a kind of secret. But it is not my task to disclose it, but rather the viewer himself must discover it." Born in Fritzlar, Hessen, in 1957, Stephan Balkenhol today lives in Meisenthal, France, and in Karlsruhe, where he teaches at the Art Academy. He has been exhibiting at the Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery regularly since 1988.