Kour Pour - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Heather James Gallery, Palm Desert
    Private Collection, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Jackson, Heather James Fine Art, Wildlife, 18 August - 30 September 2011

  • Catalogue Essay

    Kour Pour’s carpet paintings are meticulous explorations into time, place, history and culture. Originally begun as a remedy for the homesickness he felt moving from England to Los Angeles, the 27-year old artist’s paintings are deeply influenced by a childhood surrounded by faded and forgotten rugs: ‘Carpets were a part of my childhood...I remember my father’s rug shop, and how he would hand-dye sections of carpets that had faded away in order to bring them back to their original colours. I felt that in doing this, my father was making an effort to maintain all their history and meaning, as if he was bringing the carpets back to life.’ (Kour Pour)The young artist has in many ways followed in his father’s footsteps, instilling new life into these remnants of the past. Through a laborious replication and transformation of actual objects he finds in exhibitions or auction catalogues, Pour engages in an in depth study of these forgotten carpets. He extensively researches each object’s history and imagery before beginning each painting, imparting each work with a sense of purpose. His paintings incorporate months of painstaking work, demonstrating the artist’s commitment to the legacy of the traditional craftsmanship.As with the other works in this series, in Hunting Party the artist has adapted the found object into a complex and laborious exploration of surface and subject. Pour begins by etching the rug’s weft and weave into the gesso of the underpainting using a broomstick, effectively mimicking the object’s original woven texture. After then transferring a scanned image of the rug over the textured gesso using a silkscreen, the artist fastidiously hand paints each of the figures, often choosing unexpected colours. The artist then ‘erases’ portions of the painting surface using a circular sander, effectively creating a fictional history for the painting that resembles the elaborate ‘aging’ process undertaken by forgers of antiquities. After this deliberate eradication of surface, Pour again repaints the lost figures by hand, engaging in a self-inflicted Sisyphean struggle with the subject. This process often takes months, culminating in a complex, yet delicately executed surface.

    This arduous recreation of loss and regeneration reflects the artist’s own personal struggle early in his career: ‘When I first moved to Los Angeles I had feelings of displacement and much like the faded carpets, I too felt a part of my history disappear. I started the carpet painting series and noticed how art and objects could play an increasingly important role in our diverse society. Through making these paintings I am constantly learning more about my background and the rich mix of culture that surrounds me and the carpets.’ (Kour Pour)The image of the hunt is universally iconic, littered with allusions to prestige and nobility. The subject matter in Hunting Party is no exception: here, princes from the Safavid court engage in elitist sport. Pour chooses this hunting scene because it so perfectly parallels the Persian carpet’s status as an artefact of conspicuous consumption. The artist has stated that ‘the narratives depicted in these carpets are often about commerce on the Silk Road.’ From the halls of sultans to the tables of newly-wealthy Dutch merchants, these rugs became symbols of wealth during a time of unprecedented international trade. More than a simple decorative object, the Persian rug traces the cultural cross-pollination that continues on in our hyper-accelerated and adaptive world today. What began as a personal journey for the artist has developed into something more. The present lot, in particular, resonates with the international movement of art objects in the contemporary marketplace, revealing Kour Pour’s particularly insightful look into the culture of today.


Hunting Party

acrylic on canvas over panel
121.9 x 182.9 cm (47 7/8 x 72 in.)
Signed and dated ‘KOUR POUR 2011’ on the overlap.

£20,000 - 30,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £43,750

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 15 October 2014 7pm