Fostering Tradition: A Assessment of Kour Pour at Kavi Gupta

“Kour Pour: Familiar Spirits” (set up check out). courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta/Photo: John Lusis


The magic of Kour Pour’s “Familiar Spirits,” his very first exhibition with Kavi Gupta, lies in its procedure of repetition. In 20-one particular individual performs, the British-born artist offers and explores a solitary visual motif: the tiger. By way of a preponderance of clear blacks and principal hues laid on paper and uncooked cotton duck, we witness this magnificent creature in action and in repose, as anything equally ferocious and flippant. 

Despite the title’s recommendation, there’s practically nothing diaphanous or ethereal about Pour’s tigers. They, like the paint that offers them life and variety, are organization and opaque. Rendered in the fashion of common East Asian stylizations, they are accentuated by chromatic counterpoints that echo the straightforward colors of Miro and Mondrian. Pour achieves this concrete impact by a handsome mixture of aid printing—carving an picture into a pliable surface this kind of as wood or linoleum and covering it with pigment—and straight-ahead paint application: a content fusion of east and west. And when Pour’s formal themes and technological technique is unmistakably distinct, their meanings are more ambiguous.

Over the class of the earlier 10 years, the artist’s artistic practice has been driven mainly by appropriation. In its postmodern perception, appropriation is a radical act. It productively destabilizes bourgeois notions of originality in an hard work to resist commodification and increase the attainable. In its present-day feeling, appropriation is typically preceded by the adjective “cultural” and it is leveled as an indictment.

“Kour Pour: Acquainted Spirits” (set up check out), courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta/Image: John Lusis

Pour, and by extension his performs, evade these fees partly as a consequence of his standing as an immigrant, but mostly as a final result of his fascination in, and powerful use of, the notion of fostering. “Foster suggests taking treatment of a thing that is not automatically yours. It implies nurturing some thing quickly in your care,” he states. For Pour, using images that are not one’s personal is not visible or cultural piracy, it is a charge of accountability.

Regardless of whether in his application of Persian miniatures, Japanese Ukiyo-e, or as in the situation of the recent exhibition, Chinese and Korean tigers, Kour’s seriousness of function is exemplified by the multiplicity of operates on look at. This isn’t some aesthetic smash-and-get, but instead a sustained engagement with visual tips that undercut the notion that utilizing the imagery of other cultures is uncomplicated theft. Kour’s do the job demonstrates us that no make any difference its ethnic or geographic origin, lifestyle is a approach born of reuse and repetition. And therein lies the magic. (Alan Pocaro)

“Kour Pour: Common Spirits,” through June 27 at Kavi Gupta, 835 West Washington.

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