Inside 2009, the first body of paintings conceived since his move from inner-western Sydney to the old coal-mining town of Bulli, John Bokor has created paintings more densely worked in subject matter and in the palette – moodier. It is a curious shift given the nineteenth-century township of tree-lined timber cottages is by comparison spacious in scale yet Bokor surveys with a visual interrogation that works to intensify every nuance of his new environment stretching from the Illawarra Escarpment to the pacific ocean.
Fleeting impressions of familiar still life objects – bottles, chairs and books, jostle for space with organic matter from the outside world – birds, cliffs and water. In past paintings, trees punctuated a cityscape, they now dominate a landscape. Signature compression of Bokor’s mark-making, that once reflect urban static, is now at work vigorously conveying the landscape of his studio and its windows, where light feeds in and colour triumphs over the subject matter.
But while the geographical shift is a catalyst for even more charged emotions currents pulsing on moody surfaces, it also affords Bokor a change for his frenetic Expressionist brush strokes to play rough with variations in perspective. two and three-dimensional picture planes topple into the viewer’s space while wonky cropping and angles of perspective hint at an Impressionist interpretation of a world that has its source in the nineteenth century. it is perhaps the most ditting acknowledgement to this precocious panter’s Bulli environs.
Catalogue Essay by Courtney Kidd, 2014.