This Close And This Far Apart VI  2017  175 x 214 cm  oil on canvas

A boxer’s stance, legs planted firmly within the line on the floor, he looks across the hall to where a group of women huddle companionably in conversation, their bubble-chairs pushed together like a yellow life-raft. The figure blocking the right-hand foreground of ‘This Close And This Far Apart VI’ could be G.F. Watt’s 'Lonely Minotaur' watching out for a distant sail. But they’re not anxious, and not plotting his downfall, except by completely ignoring him. The dynamics could be that of tea-break at the art-school life room, but reconfigured to frame the shrinking horizons of a man in late middle-age. The artist Marks starts from a hard stare at where he is and who he is. But he brings to bear on that particular situation verve, fluency and economy that defy any downbeat forecasts. The colour is more California than Camberwell; limbs may bear the signs of age but are spun from paint with a balletic lightness of touch; an objective shared with the boxer of course: years of sweated experience deployed to knock you flat with a feather touch.

Jeffrey Dennis 2017