Review: Stunning world of Tony Brummell Smith

Without sacrificing any of his flair for colour or composition, popular Harrogate artist Tony Brummell Smith’s latest solo exhibition - his 41st - shows him branching out in different directions.
Florence, pastel by Tony Brummell Smith.Florence, pastel by Tony Brummell Smith.
Florence, pastel by Tony Brummell Smith.

Known best for his luminous pastels and amazing watercolours of glamorous beauty spots abroad, his new show sees this inveterate traveller explore Provence and Luberon in France this time round.Running from this Saturday to Sunday, November 22 at his Granby Road gallery, the collection boasts plenty of Tony’s trademark landscapes and townscapes with their luscious patchwork quilts of light and colour.Having first exhibited in 1975, Tony Brummell Smith is clearly still as inspired by his international travels as ever.As well as the south of France, the new exhibition also includes paintings of Florence, Venice and Thailand.It’s the wide diversity of locations which explains why Tony Brummell Smith may have a winning formula but he’s resisted becoming formulistic.There’s a sense of someone still keen to stretch himself, to move a little from the obvious.Having visited Arles, with all its Van Gogh connections, Street and Cafe from the Arenes d’Arles sees Tony playfully adopting the deep blues and blinding yellows of the Post-Impressionist master.The way he captures reflections in water continues to impress in his new paintings of his beloved Venice, as well as the beaches of Thailand and the rain-covered square by the cafes of Aix en Provence.Another of Tony’s favourite motifs makes a strong showing - pale dappled light on crumbling urban buildings - as shown best in Weathered Facade, Venice and Dappled Light, St Remy de Provence.Presenting what he sees rather than what he knows is there, some of Tony’s new work shows traces of a move towards a more sobre realism with subdued colours.But his exotic canvases remain gorgeous to look at at all times.

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