A master of landscape and cityscape in oils, Michael Ashcroft’s truthful style has captured the heart of Manchester and its art lovers. His familiar Northern scenes, like wet roads at dusk, raddled pub facades, and landmarks in the afternoon sun, are painted to celebrate the bustling and beautiful nature of this city.
Now you can see a collection of his highly regarded artworks at This is Manchester, a new exhibition at Contemporary Six this November. Paintings such as After the Rain, Painting My Favourite Pubs and Manchester From Afar will be on show together for the first time.
Realistic but painterly, boasting an expert’s grasp of composition and contrast, Michael's paintings display a faithfulness to his subject. Many believe his works to be Hopperesque, and as Edward Hopper said himself of his own paintings, the "outward expression of the inner life of the artist" and indeed Michael's paintings are filled with affection for a city deeply important to him.
"I believe that Michael Ashcroft is one of the most important living painters in the North West," says Contemporary Six owner Alex Reuben. "His popularity in the gallery is overwhelming and his renown outside of Manchester is growing quickly. We're most excited to be showing a collection of works and we know just how popular they will be."
Born in 1969, Michael John Ashcroft grew up in the small village of Croston in the heart of Lancashire. After leaving school in 1985 he began his career as an engineer, painting and sketching only in his spare time. In 1998 he had a major operation to remove a brain tumour and from that moment, he decided to dedicate his time to painting. Michael's works have evolved over the years – from early abstract acrylics to using oils for more representational works painted plein air.
The underpinning foundations of Ashcroft’s paintings have remained the same as he works to investigate his fascination with light and dark, and how the interaction of the two states constructs the atmosphere of the living city and the sweeping landscape.
This is Manchester runs from 1 November until 14 November 2018 at Contemporary Six on Princess Street, Manchester.