Georg Nothelfer

Jan Voss


Born 1936 in Hamburg
1955-60 Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich
1960 Moves to Paris
1966-67 Guest lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg
1968 Participation in documenta 4, Kassel
1979 First solo exhibition at the Galerie Georg Nothelfer
1987-92 Professor at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Paris
Lives and works in Berlin and Paris

The consistent theme of his painting is the "ordered", but at the same time constantly moving chaos of a multi-layered situation. In his unmistakable handwriting, his works show our lives as a multi-layered, often chaotic passage of time. In our media-driven times, he reflects the unreasonable sum of signs we have to absorb and process every day. Voss experiments with various techniques and materials; there are powerful, colour-intensive works on canvas as well as quiet, narrative and more drawing-like ones. In contrast, there are the paper reliefs collaged from torn watercolours. Whether canvas, wood and paper relief or watercolour, what they all have in common is the accumulation of various elements of colour and form that interlock, overlap and are connected by lines, signs and fragments of signs. Voss initially applied this formal language to the two-dimensional picture, and later, since the 1980s, to the three-dimensional object. Consequently, everything that serves to "create the image" counts: crumpling, folding, tearing, sawing, nailing and gluing. Voss seeks constant change. Through new pictorial inventions and material explorations, he always manages to remain unmistakable. This complexity, which characterises Voss's works, "should," says Voss, "give the viewer associative freedom, only then does a picture unfold its poetic content. That is why the viewer must not be tied down to anything in particular. His thinking apparatus must be able to combine freely". Thus Jan Voss's works have an effect on the viewer that is on the one hand enigmatic and multi-layered, but also optimistic, cheerful and vital. "The works," says writer Peter Handke, who is friends with the artist, "give a house momentum, just as you give a swing momentum."



  • Lass den Drachen springen/ Let the dragon jump/ Fais sauter le dragon, 2016, Poems by Rainer G. Schmidt, german/english/french, 56 pages, 20 colour illustrations of watercolours by Jan Voss, Production: Katalogdruck-Berlin, EUR 12


  • Monographie/Monograph, 2015, Text by Anne Tronche, French, 320 pages, 350 colour illustrations, ISBN 978 2 7541 0823 2, EUR 40


  • Trajet de Jan Voss, 1985, Edited by Galerie Georg Nothelfer. Text by Bernard Noël, german and french Version, 184 pages, 212 ill., 167 colour ill. Hardcover in linen. Edition Galerie Georg Nothelfer, ISBN 3-87329-921-6, EUR 50


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