24 September 2013

Lowry exhibition at Tate Britain

"Lowry and the painting of modern life" was, of course, full of pictures full of little people - scenes familiar to Lowry from his job as a rent collector, scenes of a working city and its working people. Yet as the century wore on, the crowded city developed more space - waste land and bombsites - and by mid-century the demise of British industry was evident. 

I was struck by the paintings in which dark churches were dominant, and by this landscape -
L S Lowry, Cumberland Landscape, 1954 (via)
Also revelatory was a display of books and journals (presumably) used by Lowry as he studied art -
We're so used to colour, and quality reproductions ... this was a different age! Of course books were not all that was available - Manchester had a major exhibition of impressionism in 1907-8, for example. Even so, it was largely from books and magazines that Lowry gathered a picture of French modernism, especially of Seurat and Pissaro tackling industrial scenes. And it was in Paris that Lowry was most exhibited, early in his career - he exhibited regularly at the Paris Salons, and in 1931 was included in a French biographical dictionary.

Much merchandising, in great variety -
There's even "Off to the Match" beer, "brewed in collaboration with Manchester's award-winning Marble Brewery and Tate's bar team ... created with all British hops - celebrating Lowry's Northern roots. The result is a refreshing summer ale" -
Interesting books in the shop, quickly flipped through - 
Photographs from the 1960s and 70s had much that was familiar from my time living in the North (late 70s) - but it's the book on the use of white in Lowry's work (the negative space between those tiny people), and in the work of other artists, that I hope to find in a library sometime. Here's Lowry in his painting suit, spattered head to foot with white paint -

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Cool! Love the painting suit! of an age with Percy Thrower gardening in a suit?