Miklos BOKOR (1927-2019)
A retrospective sale
Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 2:30 pm
Public Exhibitions :
Tuesday, May 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, May 10 from 11 am to 12 pm
Hôtel Drouot room 10
9, rue Drouot in Paris IXe
01 42 46 96 82
The condition of the works presented in this catalog is not specified,
condition reports are available upon request.
Miklos Bokor used Nepalese paper and thin paper as a support for his drawings
but also as an important part of the work.
In accordance with the technique used, the edges of the paper are irregular.
There are elements of vegetation, intentional tears and sometimes perforations,
These are an integral part of the work and do not constitute an alteration.
Miklos Bokor is a landscape painter. Cliffs, rock faces, scree, reflections in water are among the artist's favorite themes. This link with nature is something he has had since his adolescence: he first wanted to be a biologist and "study the sugars, cyanides and anticyanides that are responsible for the coloring of leaves in autumn". His father, a banker, dreamed that he would become the painter he had not been able to be.
he could not be.
Born in 1927, it was only after his return from the Nazi concentration camps that he began to draw: first the men and women around him, then nature, trees, fields, lakes: "I spent most of my time in the great Hungarian plain. On my bicycle, there were two saddlebags, one containing spare linen, the other, pencils, paper boxes and boxes of pastels".
In Paris, where he settled on the Place du Panthéon in the 1960s, his wonderment at nature and a different environment was confirmed: the play of light on the walls and trees of the Lycée Henri IV, which became a major series in his work, the orange-brown of a leaf gilded by the autumn sun in Paris.
It is especially on the banks of the Dordogne, in Les Diablerets or in the Lötschenthal in Switzerland that he continues his wanderings in search of the splendors of the world. He is the bard of "raw" nature: cliffs, rocks, glaciers, torrents, scree..., as if this telluric beauty could dissolve forever his terrible past.
Miklos Bokor is also the painter of sensation, of instantaneousness, of the fleeting moment of a reflection, of a shadow, of an effect of transparency. Unlike Anselm Kiefer, who can cover his canvases with a layer of nearly 40 centimeters of sand, clay, straw, ash, ferns..., Miklos Bokor uses watercolor on Nepalese paper or rice paper, which are conducive to metamorphosis and the fluidity of the representation. He has a special relationship with the trace that can be left on the paper, this welcoming surface where everything can be expressed easily.
On the other hand, to paint the unspeakable, the horror of the camps, he confronts the canvas, the large format: he breaks it, juggles it with a background, he struggles with the material. Like Zoran Music (1909-2005), his painter friend, deported to Dachau, he is driven by the duty to bear witness and to find a meaning to the hell they lived through: this will be We are not the last for Music, the drawings "in bistre" of the delirium of the man, the frescoes of the church of Maraden and the huge canvases painted during the 2000s for Bokor. Unanimously recognized by critics and exhibited on numerous occasions, studied during a symposium at the INHA in 2009, the work of Miklos Bokor is singular, lending itself poorly to a classification within the artistic currents.
However, as the poet Yves Bonnefoy, one of his most faithful admirers, wrote: "Without the era having noticed it much, the work of Miklos Bokor has developed in Paris since the 1950s, immediately characterized by quality, quickly by the magnitude, and it is now one of those creations whose lovers are surprised one day not to have recognized them earlier, unless they convince themselves that they knew them from the first hour.