For the first time since L.S Lowry’s death in 1976, the legendary artist’s work is to be exhibited at the Tate Gallery London. The highly anticipated The London Lowry Exhibition 2013 will run from June through to October this year and will feature 80 or so of Lowry’s works.
It has been suggested that London’s failure to exhibit Lowry’s paintings in the past was because his work was “too northern”. Northern or not, the capital is certainly now embracing Lowry and his unique works of art, in an exhibition that promises to be an inspiring experience for all who attend.
Lowry was born in Stretford, close to Manchester in 1887. His Christian name is not often used but the L.S stands for Lawrence Stephen. Lowry attended Salford Technical College where he studied art. Despite having studied art, Lowry worked as a debt collector until 1952 when he retired.
It was during his retirement that Lowry began to be noted as an artist. Inspired by the bustling scenes of working-class Manchester suburbs, most of Lowry’s paintings are of townscapes in and around Salford.
After the artist died in 1976 some even darker representations of life in the north of England during the 50s and 60s were found. They are known as the” Marionette Works” and are of a sexually deviant nature, depicting promiscuous women dressed in bondage-style clothing.
Art critic and novelist Howard Jacobson argues that these bleak sketches and paintings were about Lowry’s melancholic and pessimistic view of the world. Jacobson believes that the art world has a misconstrued idea about Lowry by focusing solely on his naïve painting style, rather than the meaning of his paintings.
The Tate Gallery aims to re-assess the importance of Lowry’s work. Neither “Realist” nor “Impressionist”, Lowry’s inimitable art is one of the only known records of 20th century working class life in Manchester on canvass. Perhaps one day, artists who use a similar technique to Lowry will be regarded as painters of the “Lowrist” style.
Entrance to the London Lowry Exhibition 2013 at the Tate Gallery is £15 and concessions are available.