The enigmatic artist James McQueen brings his first Manchester exhibition to King Street’s Castle Fine Art this month.

Running from Thu 16 Mar – Thu 30 Mar, the exhibition, entitled IT IS WHAT IT IS, features original artworks by McQueen inspired by classic paperback book covers stamped with quotes both provocative and poignant.

The pieces convey what McQueen describes as the authenticity of worn-out, vintage books which have been much read and loved over the years.

“Everyone who owns it has put their little stamp on it, like a tea mark, pencil scribbles, or folded page corners,” says McQueen.

McQueen, who famously operates under a pseudonym, explores themes of typography, pop art and abstraction, using the format of book covers as a method of communication. His canvas paintings are visually arresting, saturated with colour and employ a painstakingly developed technique to produce uniquely deep and intricate surfaces. The titles and sentiments are evocative, sometimes cynical, and often playful.

The work will be on display on the first floor of Castle Fine Art, with the ground floor showing works by Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan and Daily Chihuly, alongside Picasso graphics from London’s Halcyon Gallery.

Keep in the know

Be the first to hear about all the best events and news in Manchester.

Sign up

Thu 16 Mar - Thu 30 Mar, Castle Fine Art,
12 – 14 King Street, Manchester, M2 6AG
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Tue 21 Mar 2023