(German, b. 1957)
Cedar, paint, and stain
Overall: 259.2 x 58.5 x 45.7 cm (102 1/16 x 23 1/16 x 18 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1998.104
© Artists Right Society (ARS), New York
Continuing the centuries-old tradition of German woodcarving, Stephen Balkenhol creates simple, rough-hewn figures with no overtly symbolic or narrative content. Clothed in black pants and white shirt and assuming a relaxed stance with one hand on his hip, the Standing Man is a neutral presence whose face betrays no emotion. Balkenhol has said that he seeks "an expression from which one could imagine all other states of mind. . . ." Both the figure and its pedestal were cut from the same block of wood—a cedar log almost 24 inches in diameter and about 8-1/2 feet long. The soft, reddish-colored wood was shaped with a combination of hand and power tools. Router and chain marks are visible on the base, and marks from flat chisels can be seen on the man's face, hands, shirt, and trousers. The figure and clothing were painted; transparent stains were used to color the hair and the base.
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