Kour Pour: Polypainting

26 Apr 2018 – 24 Jun 2018

Event times

Opening: Thursday, April 26, 6 - 9 pm

Gallery Opening Hours During the Gallery Weekend:
Friday to Sunday: 11 am - 8 pm

Usual Gallery Opening Hours:
Thursday to Saturday: 1 - 6 pm

Exhibition runs until June 24.

Cost of entry

free entry

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Berlin, Germany


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GNYP Gallery is delighted to present the second solo exhibition of the Britsh artist Kour Pour in Berlin.


Pour’s practice evolves around ideological constructions of what has been called the West and the East. The artist, who was born in United Kingdom from Iranian father and British mother and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, is aware of cultural (mis)interpretations and our human tendency to observe the world through inherited concepts. Applying multiple visual languages, Pour highlights the idea of taste based on cultural identity and specific histories. The starting points in each body of work in Pour’s practice usually come from a particular language of art making from a specific location or point of history, such as Persian carpets, Japanese prints or American abstraction. The paintings in this exhibition Polypainting take their formal structures from Persian miniatures, which are in themselves an amalgamation of influences and styles from other cultures. Each of the 6 works form the Miniature series addresses a loose theme with a strong relevancy today: from migration to spirituality, from identity issues to colonialism. Within the miniature frame the artist brings together cultural symbols, signs and iconic images from different historical periods, locations and belonging to various cultures. His sources couldn’t be more diverse: he collected images from numerous books, old catalogues and found them on the internet. The paintings often display very little or none of the obvious signs of contemporaneity; rather, it is their structure and processes of creation that make them contemporary as the artist has combined heterogeneous elements in a non-linear non-hierarchical manner and designed them on the computer. While the silkscreen printed areas have an almost digital, pixilated quality, the hand painted elements look more traditional. What adds to the confusion of time as well is the sanding process, as the works that are created today are made to look like they are from the past. The experience of time is further highlighted by different speeds of mark making in the painting. Works from the other series in the exhibition Geometric paintings are based on silk-screened images appropriated from pages of Persian miniature paintings from the Shahnam, Persian Book of Kings written by the 11th century poet Firdausi about Iran’s mythical and pre-islamic history. Pour painted sections of the text out with blocks of colour, which disturbs the reading of the story and at the same time redacts the written farsi, for those who can read it. For those who cannot, the different blocks of colour play off of each other and create a minimal geometric abstraction, so much celebrated by the Western art. Appropriation is another phenomenon from the post-war Western art that the artist addresses in a different way. For Pour the appropriated imagery sets up the limits to play around with form and colour in a more fundamental way. The technique of appropriation that in has been seen as hands off, is in Pour’s case redefined by a human touch. Polypainting – being a network of works seen in context to each other - has the spirit of an immigrant, a mixed raced person and carries the experience of travel and movement, the mix of culture and time. As a balancing act between tradition and contemporary life it offers a certain correction to dominant Western histories and questions the influences of one culture on another.

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Kour Pour


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