Kour Pour UK, b. 1987

Overview

British-Iranian artist Kour Pour has quickly developed a reputation for meticulously composed and delicately rendered artworks which intersect diverse material and aesthetic traditions, allowing 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. 

 

Appropriating 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.

 

Primarily working with painting and printmaking, 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.

 

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.

 

Recent solo and two person exhibitions include Returnee at The Club, Tokyo, 2019; Manzareh/Keshiki/Landscape at Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco, 2019; Abrash at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, 2018; Polypainting at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, 2018, and GNYP Gallery, Berlin, 2018. Select group exhibitions include Gold Standard: Ten Year Anniversary Exhibition at Ever Gold [Projects], 2019); Decoration Never Dies, Anyway at Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum, Tokyo, 2017; and Labyrinth(s) at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, 2016. A solo exhibition at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran is forthcoming in 2022.

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