Jan Wurm’s work flows between painting and drawing just as her visual language bridges abstraction and figuration. The search for a vocabulary for the expression of contemporary life reflects Wurm’s own position as social observer.
Drawing from traditions of social engagement, images reflect culture through body language, gesture, and color.
Born in New York, Wurm moved to California as a young child, and then again to Europe where she lived four years in Austria with her family. Even her art education was divided: between California (B.A., University of California, Los Angeles) and London (M.A.R.C.A., Royal College of Art). This repeated shift in perspective honed an eye for observation and synthesis.
Working and teaching in California, Wurm continues to spend time in Europe. Wurm organizes and facilitates a Guest Artist Lecture Series for the Berkeley Art Center. Her writings on art and society have been published by Routledge in WS, Women's Studies Journal of Claremont Graduate University. She has juried and judged exhibitions as well as an artist residency for the National Park Service. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in collections including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the New York Public Library Print Collection, the Archive Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen in Berlin, and the Universität für angewandte Kunst in Vienna.