Abstract impressionism can be a difficult genre of art to perform. Often, it can be misinterpreted by viewers. Famous impressionist artists include Edgar Degas and Claude Monet while Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian are some of the more famous abstract artists. However, mixing the two together can be remarkably difficult, but as we see in Whitworth St Manchester by Lita Narayan, with the right eye and expert brush strokes, it is possible. This painting is a stunning depiction of what abstract impressionism is all about. 

Whitworth St Manchester is a darker viewpoint of the city street. Often, artists will embellish colourful themes to make the scene seem brighter than it actually is. Lita Narayan has chosen to abandon that concept and focus on the true, often gritty nature of city life. Dark browns and blacks take over the buildings, as we would expect from an urban environment but we can clearly see a little modernization in the background featuring a shimmering building across from the clock tower. It is an excellent example of mixing modern with traditional in a growing environment. 

Another interesting factor is the time of day. It is likely not midday, but a classic evening depiction of the city. Calming yellows and soft blues showcase the time of day as sun sets on the city of Manchester. Lita Narayan indulges the viewer with a clear, yet abstract view of Manchester. As you view this piece from far off, clarity of buildings emerge. However, when you peer deeper into the painting, intricate brush strokes and expert use of the pallet knife showcase how the piece came together. 

Impression and abstract art are some of the most stunning works in the art world and Lita Narayan has certainly proven how talented she is in this genre with Whitworth St Manchester. However, we, as viewers, can only speculate on the painting. Let’s ask the artist herself what the painting is truly all about. 



What about this street in Manchester intrigued you? Are there residences on this street or just businesses?

Whitworth Street is central Manchester at its best, with loads of history especially from the Industrial revolution – the Manchester Ship canal and the warehousing that had to be built on this street to accommodate it. And of course modern Manchester built after the bomb.  There is history here.  I personally remember taking an exam at the UMIST building in the late 1980’s, but I recently saw a photo on Instagram taken by Womanchester0161_pics which was taken at sunset and which was truly inspiring;  she very kindly gave me permission to paint from it.


Why does the impressionist/abstract genre speak to you as an artist? Do you have any famous artists you model your pieces after?

I love architecture and grimy streets, particularly the intrigue of the older buildings.  It is the atmosphere of a place which intrigues me, and I have been blown away by contemporary artist Tibor Nagy’s work – his buildings actually talk.


What do you want the viewer to take from Whitworth St Manchester? Are there any hidden themes you hope the viewer picks up on?

Oh anything that they can imagine that is going on in those buildings and streets and alleys…


Where do you see this piece being most comfortable? What type of environment? 

Anywhere really where the viewer can keep on looking at it and see different things.


Do you paint from photographs or memory?

I use photos as references sometimes but I believe that the recesses of memory play a massive part in art.

View more artwork by Lita Narayan

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