I was led to think of the enormous number of beautiful hardy plants from other countries which might be naturalized, with a very slight amount of trouble, in many situations in our gardens and woods— a world of delightful plant beauty that we might in this way make happy around us.
– Nathan Robinson, The Wild Garden, 1870
The notion of a wild garden is idyllic even if contradictory by nature. The premise feels utopian and free, and implies unity among disparate elements that were not necessarily planned to coexist, but which connect in beautiful and unexpected ways.
Los Angeles-based artist Kour Pour’s creative processes, source material and painting techniques stem from a wide range of cultures and histories. His experience as an immigrant and biography are the foundation of his work– Pour is of British and Iranian descent and grew up in a mixed-race household– but the artist is also newly American, having been granted citizenship during the pandemic. These cultural threads inform Pour's work and add to a wide range of visual languages, ranging from Islamic abstraction to Japanese woodblock prints, that infuse his paintings and sculptures.///
With Wild Garden, Kour Pour has built a new home and safe haven. Guardian tigers and dragons protect the entrance while offering an invitation to visitors, architectural works and interior scenes provide the structure for his environment and well-worn rugs depicted on large canvases create warmth and texture while displaying garden scenes of their own.
Kour Pour’s artwork is produced through diverse and layered approaches. Large hand-cut block prints and silkscreened images appear in many works, other paintings are rendered entirely by hand, and Pour often sands away large areas of his canvases to begin the dance again. The processes by which the paintings and sculptures are crafted are specific and intentional, tailored towards the iconographies of each piece.
Wild Garden is a dual-venue presentation at SHRINE and Sargent’s Daughters and features new works by Kour Pour that includes large-scale textile paintings, tiger paintings, and shaped canvases. A series of new ceramic sculptures incorporating personal objects from the artist’s home, as well as tiles and powdered incense, will also be shown throughout the exhibition. This will be Pour’s first exhibition in New York City since 2016.