Jan Yoors’ unique charcoal drawing depicts a beautiful abstract female figure. Reminiscent of his iconic tapestries, his works on paper feature dark, bold curving lines and captivating plays between positive and negative space. At the time when the artist was developing his robust repertoire of tapestries, paintings, films, and photography, he worked on this series of drawings continuously, beginning in the 1940s up until his death in 1977.
Works from Yoors’ charcoal series were recently exhibited at the artist’s two 2014 retrospectives, at the FelixArt Museum in Belgium and at The Baker Museum in Naples and are featured in their respective exhibition catalogues. Displayed in pairs or in multiples, to form a triptych or larger group, the lines from one drawing carry into the next, creating new dynamic forms across the wall.
Yoors is one the most seminal artists in textile of the 20th century. In the past five years, he has had close to a dozen solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States. His work is found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum, Archives of American Art, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. His drawings and tapestries and fascinating history were recently featured in various publications, including Architectural Digest, Vogue, and Elle Décor. In 2015, in recognition of his importance as an historical figure and artist, Belgium issued a postage stamp of Yoors’ “Yellow Tantra” tapestry.
Jan Yoors was born in Antwerp, Belgium to a cultured, liberal family of artists. At the age of twelve he ran off with a Gypsy tribe and lived with the Kumpania on and off for the next ten years. During World War II, the artist worked with the Allies to help the Gypsies. His memoir of this period, “The Gypsies”, was published in 1965 and remains a seminal work on the subject.
35” W x 39” H x 2” D
About Jan Yoors
Flemish-American, 1922-1977, Antwerp, Belgium, based in New York, New York