Kazuo Shiraga and Kour Pour
Earthquakes and the Mid Winter Burning Sun
Ever Gold [Projects]
1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
January 10 – March 18, 2017
Reception: January 14, 5-8 pm
January 14, Ever Gold [Projects] hosts an opening reception for Earthquakes and the Mid Winter Burning Sun, an exhibition pairing Kour Pour with Kazuo Shiraga. These two artists, despite having different practices and coming from different backgrounds and time periods, share an interest in the dialogue between Western and Japanese art. Kazuo Shiraga (1924-2008) was born in Amagasaki, Japan. In 1955, after studying Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) in Kyoto and Western-style painting at the City Art Centre in Osaka, he joined the Japanese avant-garde collective Gutai, founded by Jiro Yoshihara. Shiraga was best known for painting with his feet. He did this by swinging from a rope hung from the ceiling while sliding across the canvas beneath him using copious amounts of oil paint. The performance aspect in his paintings was also demonstrated in a famous early work called Challenging Mud (1955), where the artist wrestled with wet mud and cement, manipulating form with his entire body.
Kour Pour (b. 1987, Exeter, England) is a Los Angeles-based artist who gained attention for his large-scale paintings of Persian carpets. Pour’s work often uses familiar cultural symbols and processes to explore various aspects of identity formation, displacement, and the social and cultural constructions of “West” and “East.” These issues are brought into focus through his current series of work that addresses Japonisme—the Western fascination with Japanese art and aesthetics. Pour draws processes and materials from traditional Japanese art, specifically Ukiyo-e printmaking and the paper arts of origami and tsugigami. These ubiquitous craft practices, more often associated with postcards and paper cranes, are used to create abstract paintings visually embedded in an American and European tradition. The results confuse the distinctions between craft and fine art, originality and appropriation, and Western and Japanese art.