An Unprecedented Year: A Solo Exhibition of New Paintings by Rob Pointon ROI

23 October - 6 November 2020



Join us for the online-only preview from 7:30pm - 9:00pm on Friday 23 October, when all paintings will be available to purchase over the phone. As soon as the work goes live on our website, you will also be able to navigate the exhibition in a virtual gallery space from the comfort of your own home.


The exhibition opens in the Gallery on Saturday 24 October from 11am. In order to ensure we keep visitors safe through social distancing, we are offering timed visiting slots throughout Saturday and Sunday.

For the duration of the weekend, Rob Pointon will be in the Gallery, to greet you and to answer any questions about the work.

Please get in touch via telephone (during normal Gallery opening hours) to book your visiting slot, and to check availability. We know this will be a very popular and highly subscribed exhibition, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Saturday slots:
11:00am | 11:30am | 12:00pm | 12:30pm | BREAK | 1:30pm | 2:00pm | 2:30pm | 3:00pm | 3:30pm | 4:00pm | 4:30pm

Sunday slots:
11:00am | 11:30am | 12:00pm | 12:30pm | BREAK | 1:30pm | 2:00pm | 2:30pm | 3:00pm | 3:30pm | 4:00pm | 4:30pm



Contemporary Six is thrilled to present a new body of work by Gallery-artist Rob Pointon. The artist's long-awaited first solo exhibition at the Gallery, An Unprecedented Year features 25 original oil paintings from the artist, all painted amid an extraordinary twelve months. 


The life of a painter never stops. And for the past year, Rob Pointon has spent his time capturing a zeitgeist that has left nobody unaffected - touching everything from the economy, to family life, to the way we interact. Always painting on-location, the artist is uniquely positioned to observe the changing environment; and this year, that change has been seismic. Pointon has become one of the country's most exciting and promising living painters, and this show marks a pivotal moment in his impressive career. At the vanguard of plein air, he has turned his refined eye to the truly universal subject: now.


An Unprecedented Year is an exhibition grounded in real life: the streets of the city, both inhabited and sparse; the now antiquated sight of crowds; the significance of quiet spaces, cultural sites, and art galleries. And yet it is Rob Pointon's vivid and sometimes experimental style that elevates real life to a place of extraordinary beauty.



Born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1982, Pointon learned to paint under the watchful eye of his artist grandmother. "What I aspire to achieve with my artwork," says Pointon, "is for each mark to be a direct experience that others can identify with. I push myself to make that shared experience as immersive and engaging as possible, picking scenes alive with movement. I paint amongst the action".


Pointon's paintings are enjoyed with slow looking, changing over time as the eye picks out a new detail. He reconciles multiple-point perspective and an impressionistic truthfulness to the subject - all with a fluidity of brushwork that makes the paintings shimmer. Whether crowds or still waterways, his works have a language of multitudes - of layered brushstrokes, of angles and vantage points, of the slightest variances in colour. 


Possessing the rare ability to adapt his style to suit his subject, Pointon's paintings of commuters and busy streets reference the dramatic exaggerations of the Vorticists, just as his Venitian sunsets embrace the gestural French Impressionists, and the deftness of John Singer Sargent. His popular Manchester cityscapes evoke the atmosphere of Valette, and yet Pointon is a distinctly contemporary painter, adding to this procession of art historical movements the animation of contemporary life in Britain. 


Pointon's reputation has flourished in recent years: in 2020, he was awarded full membership of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. Between 2016-19, he was the international artist-in-residence for Manchester Airport, travelling and rendering the world in paint. He has also exhibited widely in the New English Art Club and Royal Institute of Oil Painters exhibitions, and in 2019, his paintings shone in The Northern Boys exhibition at Contemporary Six. 


"The City of Manchester," says Pointon, "has become my regular office, my early commute, my daily grind. The city's symbol of a worker bee resonates. These streets are my painting gymnasium and this show reflects my battle with urban life over a volatile year."



This will be the first major exhibition of Rob Pointon at Contemporary Six, although his works have attracted a large and loyal following since his introduction to the Gallery. We deem Rob to be one of the most important northern artists of his generation. This is an exhibition not to be missed.


Pointon has paintings in the permanent collection of: The Admirals House at The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich; the collection at Weston Park, Shropshire; the Council Chamber, Stoke-on-Trent, commissioned to commemorate 100 years of the federation of the six towns; the personal archive of HRH The Prince of Wales; the private collection of Duchess of Devonshire Chatsworth, and personal collections around the world.


More information to follow.