Kour Pour is a British-Iranian-American artist whose visual language is informed by longstanding, global traditions of intercultural exchange. By intersecting a wide range of material and aesthetic conventions that are connected to various geographic, cultural, and national heritages, Pour allows for a remapping of the standard understanding of “Eastern/Western” cultural exchange.


Pour was born in Exeter, England. His father owned a small carpet shop, and Pour would spend time there as a child. He also often traveled to Los Angeles to visit family on his father’s side, and he ultimately attended Otis College of Art and Design (BFA, 2010). In Los Angeles, he was exposed to hip-hop and became interested in the idea of sampling as it is practiced in music production, and how he might apply a similar practice in his artwork. 


Pour’s works encompass diverse subject matter and culturally specific references, ranging from Persian carpets to ukiyo-e prints, and Western abstraction to Eastern landscape painting. These references are used as starting points for his paintings, in which a source image is often cropped, abstracted, or adjusted in palette to create vivid, intricate, and layered painting surfaces.


Some artists use words like appropriation or re-mix to describe the process of activating existing visual associations from art history and contemporary culture in their work. Pour prefers to use the word foster. “Foster means taking care of something that isn’t necessarily yours. It means nurturing something temporarily in your care.”


Fostering forms and techniques from numerous cultures and time periods, Pour’s truly global vision weaves together representational imagery, abstract patterning, and ornamental elements to create new hybrid artworks—equally ancient, classical, and contemporary—a constellation of influences from Iran, Britain, Egypt, India, and China, among others. Kour’s synthesis of image and process often connects different art histories in an attempt to highlight the cultural exchanges that lead to artistic innovation and disrupt the notion of singular originality.


A solo exhibition of Pour’s work is forthcoming at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran, Iran. Other recent major exhibitions include A Boundless Drop to a Boundless Ocean, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL, USA; Kour Pour: Familiar Spirits, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL, USA; Returnee, The Club, Tokyo, Japan; Manzareh/Keshiki/Landscape, Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco, CA, USA; Polypainting, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, and GNYP Gallery, Berlin; Gold Standard: Ten Year Anniversary Exhibition at Ever Gold [Projects]; Decoration Never Dies, Anyway, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum, Tokyo, Japan; and Labyrinth(s), Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong.

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