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Ulrike Balkau

Ulrike uses a variety of materials and techniques to create her unique portraits. She works with heavy materials like concrete and metal, but also surprising found objects like fungus, railroad ties, toys, and heavy machinery parts. Her artworks are figurative, typically in the form of a bust but sometimes the artist expands on the human form. The beings Ulrike creates feel present in the space, they’re not merely representations. Her figures are ghostly, loaded with other-worldly qualities that leave the viewer wondering from where they came.

Country
Germany
Discipline
Sculpture

"I deliberately put my fingers into the wounds of our time by materializing conspiracy theories, injustice, stalking, bans on freedom of expression, xenophobia and linking them to real faces."

Ulrike Balkau

Artist Statement

I have been working and experimenting with concrete for more than 25 years. I have always been fascinated by concrete as a material, which, along with marble and bronze, is attracting more and more attention in art today. Over the last 25 years, I have continued to develop my work with concrete and its surface refinement. The ravages of time are gnawing away at my sculptures.

The focus of my art is on people and their stories of life and experience. By combining modern concrete with old, partly antique found objects, I design striking character heads with a high expressiveness. I want to create socially relevant works of art that trigger a lot of associations in us.

The mix of materials alone creates an arc of tension in my work, which, however, does not lose its sensuality. It is the magic in my art that fascinates us and at the same time makes us think. One of the great strengths of these sculptures is their openness, which allows us to develop different perspectives and interpretations depending on the context and environment. For example, here we are looking at a life-size head with a meat grinder on the top and little people shoveling information into it.

I deliberately put my fingers into the wounds of our time by materializing conspiracy theories, injustice, stalking, bans on freedom of expression, xenophobia and linking them to real faces. This art is beautiful, although - or perhaps precisely because – it takes a stand!

(Ulrike Balkau lives and works as a freelance artist in Tennenbronn in the Black Forest, DE. Her works are in various European private collections. She came under the global spotlight of the art world when she was awarded the EuropArtAward Amsterdam 2019.)

Exhibitions

2021 species-appropriate Karlsruhe

2021 New gallery opening "Wilhem Kimmich in the focus of contemporary art" Gallery/Lauterbach in the Black Forest

2021 Affordable Art Fair Brussels, represented by Atelier Dirk Groß/ Warendorf and Frock Gallery

2021 INCorporating art fair Hamburg

2021 taste! Summer Festival, Kisslegg

2020 ArtMuc D- Munich/Praterinsel

2020 Gallery 2106 D-Ravensburg "(no)body is perfect"

2020 art'pu:l Emmerich, PAN Museum

2020 Menschwerk D- Babenhausen/ canceled due to Corona!

2019 EuropArtFair Amsterdam, EuropArtAward

2019 art'pu:l Eupen/Slaughterhouse

2018 Kunstkreis 49, CH Lotzwil

2017 Gallery W. Kimmich, D- 78730 Lauterbach

2016 Balkau meets Rota/Majolika Firmenpark Schramberg

2015/2016 Gallery Wilhelm Kimmich, D-78730 Lauterbach, Exhibition project "art room schramberg - spectrum"

2015 The Black Forest town of Schramberg from the perspective of contemporary art/city museum D-78713 Schramberg

2015 Gallery at the Castle, D-76437 Rastatt

2014 Inventa D-Karlsruhe, Messe Karlsruhe, (represented by Galerie at the castle, Rastatt)

2013 LifesFinest, D-75005 Bretten (represented by Galerie am Schloß/Rastatt

2013 Palais Biron, D-76530 Baden-Baden

2013/2012/2011 Gallery WinkelArt, Jardin d`Irma in F-Betschdorf