Born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1936. He lives and works in Paris. Jan Voss settles in Paris in 1960, after studying Fine Arts in Munich (1956-1960). His first individual exhibition takes place in 1962. After that he exhibits with the Figuration Narrative group. From 1987 to 1992 he teaches at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
In 1960, Jan Voss finds in comic strips a source of inspiration and begins telling short stories on canvases filled with characters and animals (À l’âge des pâquerettes or Au café à cinq heures, 1965). In the decade of the 70’s he creates works “traced to the line” in which there is “no subject, no color”. After tracing watercolor lines, he saturates space with black signs. His work is “an addition, a juxtaposition, a superposition of mixed elements”. He interweaves everyday objects, vegetables, animals, men’s and women’s silhouettes. In the beginning of the 80’s he invents the Signes-espacés, a composition of colorful pieces of paper. At the end of the decade he begins creating polychromous sculptures, totems, piled up enameled terracotta cubes. He paints canvases on which he brings together signs and lines, figures and objects; collages on white surfaces or painted squares (L’énigme résolue, 1997; Casanier, 2008). He also does engraving work.