SNAINTON artist David Baumforth is exhibiting Paintings Of The North at According To McGee in York until July 16.

His latest solo show at the Tower Street gallery comprises a collection of seascapes and landscapes around the north east coast, prompting co-director Greg McGee to say: "He's the Turner of the North, and it's not just us who say it.

"The Financial Times' William Packer has him in the Turner tradition while BBC's art critic Sister Wendy reckons 'anyone who has an eye for art, the deep passionate colour of Turner, the pure-loving observations of Constable, must rejoice that our century has David Baumforth. This work is ‘the real thing’, wet with sea-spray we can feel, always mysterious, always beautiful, art to be cherished'."

York Press:

Hunmanby Gap At Dawn, by David Baumforth

Baumforth, recipient of the Not The Turner Prize in 2003, works out of his home studio at The Corridor Gallery, Lowgarth, Pickering Road East, Snainton, near Scarborough. He first exhibited at According To McGee in 2004, since when the McGees have enjoyed a 14-year relationship with a Yorkshire artist Greg fondly describes as a “straight-talking, short-tempered art rebel”.

Co-director Ails McGee notes how the fusion of sensitivity and irascibility still drives Baumforth's creative output. "Increasingly so!" she says. "It's a factor that only comes with hard work and an instinct for colour and composition that does justice to the rugged beauty of the north and its coast.

"Many artists know what it is to over-revere, say, a beach at dawn. It's easy to come up with something that is ultimately sweet and clichéd. Other artists can overdo it on the zealous front, but David balances both ways of seeing beautifully, so that it feels as if you're looking at the light and the sea and how they interplay for the first time. That takes a painter of enormous talent and a massive work ethic."

York Press:

Moorland Fire 2, Fylingdales, by David Baumborth

Ails points to pre-exhibition sales as testament to Baumforth's increasing popularity and she is proud that According To McGee is his sole representative. "For us, as a gallery in York, to receive excited phone calls from art collectors in Cornwall before the exhibition even opened is a vindication that we're doing something right," she says.

Baumforth is delighted to be exhibiting once more in his native York. "It feels right to be exhibiting in York with a solo show," he says. "My style may have slightly changed, but I’m not interested in gimmicks. The Yorkshire moors and its coastline are a constant source of inspiration for me. I’m happy with my work, so I feel no need for change. I’m always happy to exhibit them in According To McGee as Greg and Ails have such terrific enthusiasm for painting of quality."

Greg believes that Baumforth's work and new exhibition are a battle cry for the art of painting. "It's a medium long rumoured to have died, or at least forced to squat in the shadow of other, more innovative techniques," he says. "Video installations, lights flickering, and performance art play an important part in contemporary creativity, but you just can't beat the visceral punch of a thickly applied painting. And unlike its cooler cousins, you can take it home and live with it."

Ails agrees: "The north is a beautiful place to live. For a sensitive litmus test of what it looks and feels like, and maybe see new colours that you've never discerned before, come over and enjoy this collection from a painter at the top of his game."

Gallery opening hours are 11am to 5pm daily.