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Monday, 15 June 2015

Painting of the Month (54) June 2015: L S Lowry

Laurence Stephen (known as "LS") Lowry, 1887 -1976, was an English artist with one of the most recognisable styles of any painter and is often regarded as the most popular of English painters.
Industrial Landscape. L S Lowry 1887- 1976
Because of his distinctive style, where he painted lots of industrial landscapes often populated with large numbers of 'matchstick' people, he was often classed as a naive artist. I think being popular led to him being looked-down-upon by many art critics. I don't accept that his work is second-rate in any way; he really captured the essence of life in northern England and he conveys a real affection for his subjects making the hard grime of living in an industrialised zone appear to be not a bad thing. Here are some more of his works to give a better overview of it:

Listening to something very rare: The Everly Brothers and The Beach Boys together singing 'Don't Worry Baby'. There is a live version on You Tube but I like the studio version at this site.


John said...

Hi Bazza!
Always like Lowrie and I still remember the song from my childhood, 'he painted matchstick men with matchstick cats and dogs'. Can't remember who sung it, but whenever I hear his name mentioned I burst forth the tune!

bazza said...

I remember that song John! It was a bit twee but very catchy.
I could easily live with one of his industrial landscapes in the wall in the lounge.
I'll let you know when it's my Birthday.......

All Consuming said...

I too have the song in my head now *laughs*.

I don't mind Lowry's stick folks, but much prefer his close up pictures of faces. they're so striking. The 'Lowry' gallery is not far from me and so I have been a few times. I also prefer his tutor's work - Pierre Adolphe Valette - to his own for the most part. Valette painted some beautiful soft impressionist works of Manchester. This link has quite a lot of them -

Though I have a feeling I might have told you this before, and then forgotten *laughs*.

bazza said...

Hi AC. I don't like Lowry's portraits so much as his landscape. I have been a follower of Poul Webb for a few years - possibly through your recommendation. Can't remember!
It's wonderful resource. Have you checked out Poul's own work? It's very Hockney-like and I am really keen on it.
Listening to Chuck Berry's Memphis Tennessee

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Hi Bazza - hope you are well. I think you're right in assessing Lowry's interpretation of the times. It seems most people suppose the industrial revolution to be a "god send." I often wonder, "which god?" People reduced to less and less significance, even today, this continues. It's profound. I often noticed the downturned heads of his subjects - how sad were their lives? I love the simplicity of Lowry's work but, also am saddened because his presentation of what he saw has come to pass. The people are overshadowed by something that first appeared all good. Bazza, I really enjoyed the Everly Brothers and the Beahc Boys! I'd never heard that version... but now that I know about it... I'll be hearing it again! Thank you. I hope you have a pleasant summer, my friend.

bazza said...

The Industrial Revolution was a very mixed blessing for Great Britain (and the rest of the world). By the time the social reforms caught up with events things were a lot better but that was well over a century later.
I like your analysis of Lowry's people; they do always have their heads bowed forward.
Glad you like the music - it's quite rare. I am already enjoying the summer and I hope you are too!

klahanie said...

Oh no, Bazza, I click onto the comments section and your pictures disappear.

Nothing like a bit of Lowry, one of my favourite painters. Hey, Bazza, Don't worry, Bazza, um, Baby.....


Gary :)

bazza said...

Oh dear Gazza. I still see the pics, I wonder what's gone wrong.
I will look into to it just as soon as I can be arsed!
Regards, Bazza :-)

Sherry Ellis said...

He certainly fit a lot of people into his pictures!

bazza said...

Hi Sherry. He certainly did, but there are some of his pictures which are spookily absent of people!