Parsing the Ordinary
This work pursues an interest in the gesture, in body language, and how daily interactions encode communication and power while masking individual isolation. A use of line, symbolic color, and an abstracted compositional flat space, illuminates underlying culture and the human condition.The narrative examines male/female relationships, male struggle for power, and the mitigating nurture of food and libation. Beyond portraiture, the paintings have sought to distill imagery to an abstract system which conveys elements of power, tension, and resolution. In a culture which exposes, strips bare, confesses, this is a visual language to reflect contemporary society. These impulses are echoed in the insistent line and the minimal palette. These images reflect the nature of isolated, individual figures and embedded social beings.
Jan Wurm is Director of Exhibitions and Curator of Art at the Richmond Art Center, She has worked as an independent curator focused on the highly personal art of California in exhibitions such as “Mildred Howard: Spirit & Matter (Richmond Art Center, 2015; “Closely Considered: Diebenkorn in Berkeley” (Richmond Art Center, 2014)); “The Breakfast Group–Java and Jive “ (Richmond Art Center, 2014), and “Off Center—Five Perspectives from Los Angeles (Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, 2001). Over a period of twenty years Jan Wurm has taught for University of California Berkeley Extension and has lectured extensively as a guest artist. Wurm organized and facilitated a Guest Artist Lecture Series for the Berkeley Art Center for five years and is actively engaged in expanding the community forum for contemporary art dialogue through public programs including five annual symposia for the University of California Art Alumni Group. She established “Spring Training,” a mentorship program for the Cal Art Alumni Group and an annual art book, catalogue, and film exchange, “Buried Treasures”. Wurm is the author of exhibition catalogue essays and her writing has appeared in WJ, Women’s Journal of the Claremont Graduate University published by Routledge. Through an art practice which encompasses paintings, drawings, and artists books, Wurm examines daily life and close encounters to reveal aspects of contemporary culture which inform our relationships. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in collections including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Achenbach Graphic Arts Foundation, the New York Public Library Print Collection, the Archive Verein der Berliner
Künstlerinnen in Berlin, and the Universität für angewandte Kunst in Vienna.