Press & Critiques
“These paintings seem to have emerged out of some sort of archaeology of the imagination, a dream dig. They are like the rediscovery, by means of scrupulous investigation – aided by small touches of sensitive restoration – of ancient wall surfaces, of long buried, much over-layered symbols of mankind’s primal concerns: earth and sky, sun and moon and tide, wave motion and pattern, growth and the cycles of nature, metamorphoses of seed into root, into stem, into leaf and into berry. In these paintings nothing is hurried or superficial."
"Bob Smith did not hastily transfer sketches to canvas or board but thought deeply and allowed the logic of the physical process itself to contribute to the resolution of the concept. His work has a tactile almost as much as a visual appeal with apparently brushless layers of paint 'scumbled, stained and impasted, then scraped, scratched, incised, gouged and scarred with lines or pitted textures, only to be glazed, dragged and stippled into the bargain' yet being 'subtly polished as oiled bone'."
Of his abstract Afterwards (1976) the critic Martin Baillie, commenting on the fine surface of the painting, wrote: “…one longs to finger it as one does with a late Cezanne still-life.”