What do you think the painter of modern life, Lawrence Stephen Lowry, was like? Our exclusive excerpt of the 1971 film Mister Lowry might change your view
Lots of you have ideas on what kind of person Lowry was, (as shared in your comments on our curator’s blog, thank you!) however for some of you, after visiting Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life at Tate Britain and seeing his work in person, your opinions have shifted.
After seeing the show, Felicity Dyer wrote:
I was wrong about Lowry: he was not a working class man but a conservative: he was not a factory worker but an artist and debt collector. A man of paradox who didn’t judge the people he painted but was rather an observer of life.
And visitor Grendad shared:
As an ex miner and factory worker my response to the exhibition was somewhat different… When the word beauty was used I automatically substituted the word brutality. Most, if not quite all, of us said on Monday morning, Roll on Friday and wished our lives away. Lowry’s detachment from us as a people is illustrated by his talent to reproduce the environment in the brilliant way he did, without emotional contact.
The subjects of Lowrys paintings - the industrial city and the people who inhabited them - were drawn from a pattern of streets he tramped daily for a living and there are multitudes of word-of-mouth stories surrounding his life and work; told by the people he purveyed and those who grew up with his paintings as they circulated the places he depicted - namely Salford and the surrounding areas. If youre yet to see Lowrys work in person, this except of the film Mr. Lowry, a portrait of the artist directed by Robert Tyrell, will give you a flavour of the kind of figure Lowry himself cut across the Salford landscape.
This except of the film Mister Lowry is as featured in Tate Etc. Issue 28 for iPad, available now