Between Two Rooms is an exuberant exhibition of 44 paintings and drawings by John Bokor, produced in a temporary studio while a new larger, studio space is being built at the artist’s home in Bulli. What emerges in this exhibition is Bokor’s animated memory theatre of rooms within rooms, paintings within paintings, revelling in vibrant colour and texture.
Spring and its promise of new life is a pulsating theme through-out: in the iridescence of the cut flowers, verdant potted plants, glowing fruit in bowls, on tables, and a bright daylight that imbues many of the interiors. Between Two Rooms is a sensory delight marvelling in the materiality of paint, pencil, charcoal on paper and board.
Paintings and drawings are worked, scraped back, sometimes left unresolved for a time, and then reanimated with collage, painted over, airbrushed, drawn through and eventually from the encrustation and palimpsest of previous work, a synthesis merges: ‘When it no longer looks like a collection of marks on a surface but gives you the impression of something more… I like to stop when it feels like a story is unfolding.’ He began work on ‘Their Priceless Collection’ in 2018, then put it aside, reworking it in 2020. However, it found its moment this year: ‘Sometimes it’s like that, it’s not a sprint. In my 50th year, I’ve learned to be patient’.
– Anne Sanders, 2023