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jan wurm     Email     Bio   Statement           
On Drawing On Painting
This work pursues an interest in the gesture, body language, and social implications of the interactions of people. Beyond portraiture, the paintings have sought to distill imagery to an abstract system which might convey elements of power, tension, and resolution. Approaching the painting, color is used symbolically, brushwork energetically, paint building thickly and then thinly veiling the underlying bones- the drawing. It is in searching for a means of drawing with paint that we glimpse the other side: a drawing practice which feeds the painting and allows the drawing to surface from the skeletal to the muscular. Ironically, in tending not just a surface, but beyond a surface to a modeled, sculptural process, the painting follows in form the impulse to reveal not just the visible in an encounter, but to also give form to the inner reality. Thus the markings of memory, fantasy, and aspiration expand a narrative to emerge through shifting planes. This narrative examines male/female relationships, male struggle for power, and the mitigating nurture of food and libation. What becomes codified behavior in a culture finds a parallel abstraction in pictorial terms. The traditions of figuration are held as a foundation for a complex of overlaid forms which, in their intersection, open a new dialogue. As past, present, and future play out on the same stage, the ability to register time led from the employment of triptych, series, and material exploration, to open the picture plane to merging images and shifting points of view. As life became with the years a confluence of past, present and future, so this body of work paralleled a vision of simultaneous impulses and divergent experience. In a culture which exposes, strips bare, confesses, this is a visual language to reflect contemporary society. These impulses are echoed in the slashing line, the split image, and the raw palette. These images reflect the nature of isolated, individual figures and em
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