Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Unseen Lowry Exhibition at the The Lowry Gallery, Salford Quays

The Guardian has described the unseen works as a "testament to Lowrys skill and sense of humour".   These drawings were never shown when Lowry was alive  and only came to light after his death when they were revealed to Carol Ann Lowry (no relation).    Shelley Rohde has written about them in her biography of Lowry- " A private view of L S Lowry".    "They were drawings of a young slender girl....She is dressed as a ballet dancer, a doll, a puppet, her costume cut low to reveal the sensuous curves  of her breasts or the dark shadow of her nipples. one her head is severed from her body with a mighty sweep of an axe....In one she is prostrate beneath a guillotine her head half separated  from her body.    In some the collar of her grotesque costume is monstrously huge, like an instrument of medieval torture, so that it strangles her, twisting her head into attitudes of agony".

It beggars belief that anyone can see a sense of humour in these very disturbing images with elements of bondage and sado-masochism.     However, there are a large number of other paintings and drawings of Lowry on display since Salford has the largest collection of Lowrys works  in the country (about 400) .     The exhibition is well worth a visit especially since there is a superb guided tour by gallery staff and the one I attended on Tuesday afternoon really excited my interest in discovering more about this remarkable northern painter who spent nearly 40 years at 117 Station Road, Pendlebury where he painted most of his industrial scapes ( the famous matchstick men and women). The current issue of Northern Voices has an article by Chris Draper on Northern Artists in which Lowry comes out top in "Six of the best Northern Artists".

The Unseen Lowry runs until September 29th at the Lowry Gallery Salford Quays.    There is free admission and its well worth a visit.   

1 comment:

barry said...

Both John Berger the Marxist art critic and Herbert Read the anarchist artist were full of praise for Lowrys paintings. According to Berger. Lowrys paintings were " a potential seedbed for the emergence of a realist art based on humanitarian socialist values". Read commented " It is an independent painter like L S Lowry, patiently elaborating his talent in the provinces, who has given us the most realistic picture of industrial workers in this country". Read also referred to Lowrys "Industrial scene. Landscape in Wigan" (1923) as "nature outraged and defaced by man".