Liam Spencer: From Manchester to Shanghai

Boat: Hong Kong (detail) by Liam Spencer, 2005
  • Saturday 8 July 2006 - Sunday 24 September 2006
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • FREE
From Manchester to Shanghai is a major retrospective of paintings by the popular Manchester artist Liam Spencer. As well as his most well known pictures of Manchester scenes, the exhibition also includes recent paintings of New York and Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

Best known for his urban landscapes of Manchester and Salford, Spencer paints familiar scenes and buildings, creating extraordinary pictures of bridges, canals, motorways, industrial buildings, rooftops, traffic and the city at night. Spencer is an artist who sees something fresh and interesting in the everyday life of the city. He paints from what he sees on the street, often on the journey from home to his studio, using a camera to record fleeting impressions. He has painted the Mancunian Way many times, at different times of day and in different weather conditions. The now defunct Odeon Cinema on Oxford Road, Albert Square, Urbis and Victoria Station all appear in his pictures and capture the city’s constant transformation.

In 2002 and 2003, Spencer painted a series of pictures in New York based on digital photographs he took there. Times Square in the rain is painted in all its vibrancy, with its traffic, streams of pedestrians and billboards. Spencer’s most recent series of paintings are scenes of cities in China; the hustle and bustle of the streets and waterways of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing are captured with the artist’s trademark use of colour and light.

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