Kim Poor

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Kim Poor
A photo of Brazilian artist Kim Poor
Brazilian artist Kim Poor
Born Elizabeth Kimball de Albuquerque Poor
Nationality Brazilian
Education Parsons School of Design / Skidmore College / Central School of Art and Design
Known for Fine Art / Jewellery Design
Movement Diaphanism

Elizabeth Kimball de Albuquerque Poor is a Brazilian artist working in Rio and London.


Kim Poor first exhibited at the age of 12 at a large mixed show in Rio de Janeiro amongst other Brazilian artists such as Scliar and Bianco. At 17 she left Brazil to study Fine Arts at the Parsons School of Design in New York City with Larry Rivers and at Skidmore College in upstate New York where she developed a new technique in painting with ground glass on steel. During this period she exhibited extensively in Brazil and New York.[1] In 1982 she enrolled at the Central School of Art and Design in London to pursue her interests in printmaking with Norman Ackroyd R.A.

Her own style and technique of painting uses powdered glass fused on steel and is known as “Diaphanism”,[2] a term since incorporated into the Oxford English Dictionary. The paintings are fired countless times until she is satisfied with the result. Critical high and low temperatures and a very delicate control of layers of opaque and transparent glass are required in order to achieve depth and colour.

It's a demanding technique as confirmed by the writer and leading art critic Edward Lucie-Smith. When writing about Poor's 1997 work "What the Jaguar Saw" he states, "Jaguars play a major role in the mythology of the Amazonian Indians. The Brazilian artist Kim Poor, working with a demanding technique in which tiny specks of pure pigment are fused onto a metal surface, here gives the beast a godlike presence."[3] With further reference to the technique, this time in relation to Poor's 1997 work "Macaw and the Moon", he comments, "This is a painting in enamel on metal. The technique the artist uses seems wonderfully well-suited to the mystical atmosphere she wants to evoke, since it allows her to create both the intense colors of the bird in the foreground and the ethereal quality of the figure symbolizing the moon in the background."[4]

Throughout her training Poor found that her responses to the formal exercises she was set invariably led to a narrative - a tradition which is strong in South America and this led her to explore the myths and fables she was told as a child. In Brazil such stories co-exist with day-to-day happenings and a willingness to suspend disbelief permeates Brazilian culture; this sense of fantasy mixed with reality is explored in all her work. Her links with Brazil remain strong and it is there she gathers inspiration. As Edward Lucie-Smith states, "There has also been an enormous amount of recent artistic activity in Brazil. Here the range of styles has been vast. Some Brazilian artists, like Kim Poor, have concentrated on creating poetic evocations of the fast-vanishing rain-forest and the lives of the Brazilian Indians."[5] He has also commented “In the dreamlike quality of Kim Poor's work one has yet another example of the Magic Realism which can be found in the books of the great Latin America writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Isabel Allende.”

Kim was married for 26 years (1981-2007) to British musician Steve Hackett. She produced the artwork for most of his record albums both before and during their marriage. Her painting for his first album, "Voyage of the Acolyte", won Album Cover of the Year for 1976 and was exhibited at the Thumb Gallery, London, in 1979.


  1. ^ "Kim Poor - Curriculum Vitae". Kim Poor's Official Website. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Diaphanism". Kim Poor's Official Website. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Lucie-Smith, Edward (1998). "In The Jungle". Zoo. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 22. ISBN 0-8230-5981-2. 
  4. ^ Lucie-Smith, Edward (1998). "Creatures Of The Air". Zoo. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 147. ISBN 0-8230-5981-2. 
  5. ^ Lucie-Smith, Edward (1996) [First published 1995]. "Latin America". Art Today. London: Phaidon Press. p. 377. ISBN 0-7148-3201-4. 

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