Hello! I’m Helen Little, Assistant Curator of Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life.  Since the exhibition opened there have been some great reviews in the press, but I would also like to hear what you think

L.S. Lowry, Early Morning, 1954

L.S. Lowry, Early Morning, 1954

The Cryne / Graham Collection
© The Estate of L.S. Lowry

 If you have visited the show, what was it like seeing these urban scenes and industrial landscapes in person? I’d love to hear what you think about Lowry’s apocalyptic visions of the landscape or his connections to French Impressionism

Have you been able to look afresh at his best known work or have you discovered Lowry for the first time?  Let me know your views, stories and comments below. 

I hope you enjoyed this exhibition of one of Britain’s pre-eminent painters of modern life. You can read more about it on my Lowry blog, where you can also share your views. 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts soon!

Comments

I really enjoyed this exhibition. It was well laid out and was easy to get around. It was great seeing a wide variety of his paintings and what he learnt from as well. However, there were a lot of paintings and not so much of actual information on Lowry. It was also quite crowded, but that was understandable. All in all, I thought it was a great experience and I would definitely do something like this again.

Wonderful and impressive collection of Lowry paintings. Really liked the seaside and funfair paintings.

I come from Mottram in Longdendale. I knew Mr Lowry. We all did. He was our pet. Somehow we recognized that he stood above us in his bearing and his talent. But he was ours.

He tried to disguise it with his drab appearance and his offhand manner. No grand carriages for him. He travelled with other workers from the city and the Hyde cotton mills, clambering over his matchstick men on the 4-abreast upstairs seats on the 125.

But his apparently stony heart went out to one girl from the village, whose artistic talent he recognized and encouraged. And Pat Gerrard Cooke returned the kindness, supporting him in his later years and taking him to explore the North East, Ireland and North Wales. Sadly, apart from one of his earlier paintings of Berwick, the exhibition did not show her work, or his, in these places.

And unlike her, he did not explore the potential of Mottram, whose setting high above the Etherow valley and Glossop Dale can match that of many Italian hill towns. But he said that he was not happy there. But he stayed nevertheless. And perhaps lived longer, through being above the Manchester smogs.

And I was one of his matchstick men. I worked in two cotton mills. In one I was a can-tenter, looking after 17 carding machines. In another, I shipped out crates of cones to Corahs of Leicester and hampers of fine count mule-spun cops to Elton Cop in Bury.

I returned to that mill the following year. But I declined a job. - Smashing the wonderful machinery of Mather and Platt, Dobson and Barlow and Casablancas High Draft. And breaking the hearts of their former minders.

So much has gone. Wrapped in a shroud of white cotton born in blackened air and that blackened land. A fabric that could only be shown in the black and white pictures of the time.

It could have been left like that. But Manchester was home to cotton finishers who could bring that dull material back to life with new designs and the use of colour. Just like Mr Lowry.

So our frail memories are supported now by his lasting, colourful and often terrible visions, as bleak as Van Gogh's final cornfields.

And above his home in Mottram, the heather and the wimberries of Hobson Moor and the cotton grass of the wilderness of Featherbed have not passed away.

But Mr Lowry and his combers and his piecers, his mule spinners, cop packers, cone-winders, his overlookers and his ring-doffers have gone. To wilder flowers than those.

I found the exhibition quite overwhelming, so many stunning originals. I was particularly struck by the differences between the frames on the private pieces, plain and understated that were loaned to the exhibition and the gallery owned pieces, some were so elaborate. I especially loved St Simon's Church, such a dark, bleak piece and the frame in silver and black.

Didn't want to leave, however your book of the exhibition, showing all the art, is a wonderful reminder of my favourite artist.

It was really interesting and fascinating to see how the paintings change with the times. The film clip showing his dog drawings was amusing. I didn't know about the influences on his work from the industrial north and other painters. Well worth the visit.

Hi. Though wonderful, I was privileged to be able to put the Paintings into rare context with regard to Lowry's portraits and pencil drawings, which I saw in the Lowry theatre, Salford the previous week. These were, as i understood from the excellent curated talk, only made available to the gallery there as a result of the Tate's requiring so many of the Salford gallery's paintings for this exhibition. The central Manchester gallery has some wonderful examples of his teacher's work. Very influenced by the impressionists, he nevertheless had a mastery of drawing with which he impressed, evidently, Lowry. This was not readily evident in your exhibition. none the less, a wonderful display. The landscapes portrayed Wales in a grim light, and were worth the visit alone. Congratulations to all concerned.

Having prepared myself for the fact that Lowry's work would not leave one with a light heart, there was so very much "sameness", and it was almost overwhelming, a very long afternoon - I was beginning to feel like one of his factory workers. The exhibition was more a social statement of the time than a display of artistic creativity, and I can see that I am not alone in preferring to see a wider range of Lowry's talents. It's difficult to appreciate, never mind enjoy and reflect, an exhibition in such a crowded environment - perhaps better monitoring of the number of visitors allowed within the space could have afforded more enjoyment for everyone involved.

This was a superb exhibition. It deepened my understanding of the artist and placed in context some of my favourite paintings. Wanting to visit the exhibition pushed me in to Tate membership which I had been contemplating for a while. I look forward to Klee next.

Thoroughly enjoyed the Lowry exhibition at the Tate. Have always loved his work, having come from industrial Lancashire, worn clogs as a child, and spent many hours in later years visiting exhibitions of Lowry's work. This must be the best! Well laid out, with many interesting video clips and original documents. A real taste of industrial scenes, and the landscapes and earlier works for which he is lesser known. I particularly enjoyed seeing the earlier influences on his work.

BLOG: Lowry at Tate Britain

Hi there,

First a very general comment: Its tile: Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life title was a bit odd, Lowry and the Painting of the Industrial Revolution might have been more apt, or do you think it's still like this in the North!?

Also (and I may not have diligently read all the texts), I think some information on what his background was would have been interesting; he worked as a rent collector, but I presume his time in college was supported in some other way, by his family I imagine ... and who inspired him to go into art in the first place?

But I thought the show was very interesting and was impressed by many of the captions which took us behind or deeper into the various works, although my hackles were raised by the intro to the first room which talked about "a red London double-decker;" we had buses in Manchester you know, and they were red, my Dad drove them!

But this chimes in with the fact that Lowry was more widely recognised in Paris than London, are things really still the same? Is there still a London-centric view operating? I believe this was the first major London show of Lowry's work, and he's been dead nearly half a century! Still, the art world didn't even recognise the magnificence of Vincent van Gogh while he was alive ...

I would have liked to have more details on where the various scenes were, but I think most (like the paintings in the last room), were re-imagined rather than being actual places. A contemporary map of the region might have helped even Mancunians such as myself (well, Stockport actually!).

I was especially interested to see works by (mainly French) painters who had influenced Lowry more than I had realised.

Also of interest was the Room 5 Social life of Labour Britain, even if it showed Lowry up for being a Tory supporter! How could he be, when he saw the poverty first-hand and saw the impact that ill health had on the community, while he clearly recognised the attempts people made to improve their lives (look at the neat net curtains in nearly all his pictures!)?

The last room with larger scale later works was especially interesting to me. Here, I read, most of his landscapes were re-imaginings rather than actual scenes which, in a way, I feel lessens his works.

So although I enjoyed the show, my end feelings are more in line with Brian Sewell's than I like(!): Lowry was not a top-rank artist, but he did document a world which very few others even thought about. And his dogs are wonderful!

David R.

SidF

I felt the chronological progression was an excellent way to present Lowry's work. My father ( and his father) had a pharmacy in Ordsall Lane, Salford so in the 1950's this was my neighbourhood. Lowry very successfully recreates the atmosphere of the mixture of industrial buildings, 2 up 2 down terraced housing and waste land ( probably from WWII) that I remember. I remember too the lack of shadows. Even on the sunniest day, it was not possible to be sunburnt in Manchester, the atmosphere was so polluted and the sky a leaden grey/yellow rather than blue. However, I don't remember the crowds ( apart from football at Old Trafford) and they had probably decreased in the 50s as employment patterns changed. Lowry has left us with a wonderful pictorial archive of the largely vanished world that was the end of the Industrial Revolution in the UK. It deserves to be permanently on show to remind future generations of the lives of the people who built industrial Britain.

Really appreciated the thought and care that went into this exhibition. Finally, a blockbuster show curated with flair and intelligence. Loved the video excerpts (though could have done with more of Lowry actually painting), and the small selection of work by Valette and other French artists was perfectly done. Might also have been interesting to compare Lowry's technique and his fascination with white backgrounds with Turner's light effects. And the quotes - Richard Hoggart and others - were all thought-provoking. I would have liked to know more about Lowry's own views, eg the few paintings featuring dark, dominant churches suggested he didn't think too much of organised religion either. But a cracking show overall. Well done Tate Britain.

I was disappointed that the exhibition did not include more of Lowry's paintings of non-industrial scenes. Lowry had regular holidays at Berwick-on-Tweed where he said his recreation was "drifting amongst all the back streets .. I can come across" and produced over 30 drawings and paintings of the Berwick area. There is a Lowry Trail around the town so that you see the pictures that Lowry painted at the very sites, including several of the sea and sands. This exhibition had only one picture of Berwick - the town hall. I therefore think that it did not fully reflect "the painting of modern life" since it did not cover the non-industrial scenes.

gtb

Very much enjoyed the Lowry exhibition ! Perfectly sized, layout excellent plus informative texts in each room were just right, not too short not too long ! Only thing, as usual, too many people but then it was a Saturday and the day before the end of the exhibition, and I do realise you need affluence ... so this isn't a criticism just an observation. However, I do find these people with headphone-commentary should be told to be considerate of other people and not stand in front of a picture for a long time blocking other people's view !

Awesome. It's unlikely we will ever see so many Lowry paintings together again during our lifetimes. Perhaps not to everyone's taste, but to me Lowry is the greatest artist that ever lived. Neither photograph like nor impressionist, the paintings lie somewhere between the two that is uniquely Lowry.

"Coming from the Mill" is the quintessential Lowry painting. It epitomises everything that is Lowry: the classic mill town landscape, totally industrialised with textile mills, factories and smoking chimneys and Lowryesque figures scurrying about in the foreground.

The paintings tell a story whilst giving the viewer a social history of life in industrialised Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. Some depict accidents or tragedies that affected people at the time. "The Fever Van" is particularly poignant. Others reflect the general hardship of everyday life. Lowry was not judgemental, he just committed to art the realities if life. And there were also happier aspects to people's lives and these are illustrated by Lowry in paintings such as "VE Day", "Going to the Match", and "Saturday Afternoon", proving he was not just doom and gloom.

A fantastic exhibition, well presented and well organised. Really glad I came. Thank you Tate.

Hear, hear, Pete!

One of those exhibitions that will be remembered, and spoken about, for a long time to come.

After several forced postponements, I managed to see the wonderful Lowry show on its penultimate day. Being able to simply wander into even the most popular and heavily subscribed exhibitions at one's convenience is perhaps the greatest advantage of Tate membership; take note all you hesitant ponderers, it really is worth the small investment - and, like the RA, you never know who you may spot in the the members' room.

Back to the Lowry gig. Before adding my own insignificant thoughts, I skimmed through some of the earlier offerings and was pleased to see that LSL is still uniting and dividing opinion, as was the case during my visit: it was almost as interesting to hear the comments of my fellow viewers about them as to study the paintings themselves.

Would the single-minded LS have given a flying toss either way about what people thought of his work? I think not. Let those of us who admire it and feel enriched by it continue to enjoy that tingle of affection it generates in our collective being. And those with a slightly more vinegar view? Thank you at least for expressing it, thereby demonstrating that Lowry's work, like all significant art will, generates healthy intellectual friction long after its creation: will I be able to offer such an observation in forty years about some of the 'art' being spoon-fed to us at present? Absolutely not, for one ultimately inescapable reason: most of it is teeth-grinding tosh. The sooner this present generation of mindless fashion-followers wake up to that, thereby committing such tripe to oblivion, the better.

Did I mention that I am referring to so-called 'Brit Art?" No? Oh, bugger. Well, the cat's out of the bag now...

Phew. I love a good rant.

Bless you LSL, you could PAINT. You established your palette and your motifs in 1913 and, whilst ever ready to own up to, endorse and adopt the influence of others, you remained steadfast to those key elements of your work.

Des

Wonderful exhibition! I visited several times and could probably now recite word for word "The day that father said he'd pay the rent" by George Formby's dad. I wonder what Lowry would make of all the fuss? He was a real treasure. I shall now have to make a pilgrimage UP NORTH to Salford to discover a little more about the great man.

I couldn't add much to the many apposite comments already posted about the quality of this exhibition, but I have to congratulate whoever was responsible for the pre-downloadable iOS/Android app. This has been such an obviously idea for a long time.... I rarely hire the equipment at the door but would always buy the app in advance.

I don't want to seem either petty or personal, but some people's comments are just plain stupid - and Sid Stace's comments are right up there with the most banal I've ever read. What exhibition did you actually go and see????? You should've kept your money - and your opinion.

Congratulations John you have been both petty and personal. At least Sid has some opinions to post. Your ignorant and narrow minded comments are not appreciated, free speech is.

I have previously commented that the exhibition has some merit but is limited. I think Sid has every right to voice his opinion and it is you who should remain silent or voice an opinion of your own. Shame on you.

Responding to John Beavis ... Thank you, John, for writing those few wise words. For weeks, I've been reading simply daft entries on this blog; but have been reluctant to comment, as nobody else seemed to be reacting to the inanities! You've persuaded me, John, to break my silence. What has irked me most has been the regular complaint that there were no portraits or seascapes in the exhibition. For pity's sake, the exhibition was advertised as "Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life". The clue's in the title: it was not a "retrospective". Then, there's the moan that his works are repetitive. What on earth is wrong with being single-minded - even obsessive? Yes - his palette was limited ... but so many artists have, like Lowry, achieved so much with limited palettes, or with repeated use of one or two favourite pigments. It comes down, I reckon, to a visual-art equivalent of that regular, and ridiculous, aberration of literary criticism - blaming Dickens for not being Dostoevsky. I was moved by Mr Lowry's paintings. I saw beauty and ugliness - both expressed with disarming simplicity. That's good enough for me - and this opportunity to see so many of these fine works was most welcome.

Really impressed by this exhibition. I've always enjoyed Lowry's work but never looked deeper into his life, his broader portfolio or his style. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the work I was seeing for the first time and, if I'm honest, it came as a surprise that his canvases were so small.

On a practical note, I would almost certainly have come earlier in the season if I'd known how busy it was going to be in the latter days. The footfall in the rooms was quite intense when I visited and that certainly detracted from the experience. Nevertheless, congratulations on delivering such a fab show.

Very interesting show, and full of revelations. Agree with earlier comments that 1) the artist lost the plot a bit after the second war / from the 1950's onward, and 2) the galleries were extremely crowded. I sympathise with the difficulty of managing such a popular show and, anyway, feel very lucky to have seen it. Just had no idea how brilliant his earlier work was. Too bad he only thrived amidst gloom and that he didn't adapt to a more positive world/Britain!

A number of comments: !) Apart from a few post-war paintings (the Waiting Room, the Welsh paintings) Lowry showed little development as an artist. 2) The early social commentary paintings (eg The Fever Wagon) show an interest in people that had largely disappeared by the 1950s. 3) Post-war his interests became increasingly topographical, the figures being little more than decoration. 4) Looking at his paintings and his personal history he was clearly on the Autistic spectrum. 5) The two best paintings in the exhibition are both by French artists.

Ossie

The pictures in the exhibition were great – strongly reminded me of my days as an apprentice in Sheffield and Barrow and the mill towns where my Father’s relatives lived – Rochdale, Todmorden et al. Lowry not only captures the grey, industrial landscapes but the body language of the people in whatever activity they are engaged in. I had not appreciated this from small scale reproductions.

The exhibition was crowded as expected. So why do you persist in placing the captions and notices level with the bottom of the pictures in small print??? This means every one moves forward to read them and blocks off the view of the pictures. ‘tis not beyond the wit of man to print the information in large type that can be read at 3 paces and to place it above the picture so that people can stand back, read the information and leave a clear view of the pictures. Personally I’d paint a white line on the floor and encourage people to stay behind it, but that’ probably a step too far. There must be a curators’ course that teaches the former layout as I have commented on this at other crowded exhibitionas exhibitions.

The gents toilet was in a disgusting state with half flushed toilets and loo paper towels all over the floors, in the basins and the cubicles. Yuk!

Roll on the reopening of the members’ room – the substitute was AWFUL and the fare on offer so unappetising that we walked to the nearest pub.

I love Lowry's work and so was delighted with the exhibition but...

You needed more of his landscapes and seascapes to show the breadth of his vision. It would have been nice to have had his "Man With Red Eyes" self portrait too. And you should have showed the "mysterious" Ann, at least once!

I didn't much like the other paintings that you showed with the Lowrys. They were all wrong. You should have gone for a complementary showing of Atkinson Grimshaw's work along with Lowry's - an Englishman, a Yorkshireman and an utterly brilliant artist who is under-appreciated - almost as much as Lowry used to be!

A couple of things you missed out on ... occasionally, as a joke, he sometimes used to put animal heads on his figures - making them human cats & dogs! You could have bought a Lowry back in 1966 for about £300. That same painting today would cost you between £1.5 and 3.2 MILLION!!! Going To The Match first sold by Andreas Kalman for just £300 - the last time it sold it went for £1.7 million!

When Lowry moved house from Pendlebury to Mottram, he couldn't take all his paintings and canvasses with him, so he left a good few for the next house owner. What did the new owner do? To his lasting shame and utter lifetime of regret ... he burnt them!!!! What an expensive bonfire that has since proven to be!!!!

Apparently, (so legend has it!) he never swore in his lifetime and disliked people who did. he never had a drink, never smoked, never travelled outside Britain, never flew in an aeroplane, or owned or ever drove a motor car, never owned a TV and was over 80 before he succumbed to actually owning a telephone!

What he achieved, with exemplary visionary control over just a 5 colour palette is incredible - he only used five colours - vermilion, Prussian blue, yellow ochre, black and white - all pure Windsor & Newton colours, straight out of the tube! Utterly amazing!!!

Apart from that, it was an excellent exhibition that breathed new life into the vast canon of a highly skilled artist who had a profound and highly unique vision and who was a very lovably likeable man.

He still today holds the record for turning down public honours - including a knighthood!

As Jonathan Horwich said: "Lowry was neither a simple man, nor a simple painter."

Three books to push on L S Lowry are the wonderful books by the late Shelley Rohde: L S Lowry: A LIfe L S Lowry: A Biography

And the brilliantly anecdotal and delightfully entertaining L S Lowry: Conversation Pieces (Andreas Kalman in conversation with Andrew Lambirth)

And also the superb ITV biopic: Perspectives: Looking For Lowry

Atkinson Grimshaw next , pretty please!! Then John Singer Sargent perhaps...?

With 2 exceptions, I felt that this was an exhibition which offered nothing new about Lowry, and the huge quantity didn't make up for a lack of real quality. I was very glad to see his little painting of bathers at Lytham, which was new to me, and the enormous painting of the Welsh town, in the glowing blacks and silvers right at the end of the exhibition. The comparison with impressionists was certainly thought provoking, but Lowry came off so extraordinarily poorly compared with them! It was a pleasure to see the Valette. Many of the pictures are already familiar from the Lowry gallery in Salford, as well as from countless reproductions. I have previously come across a seascape of his (at Greenwich, I think ) which surprised and delighted me because it was different from the familiar industrial landscapes, with their repetitive colour palette. I came to the exhibition hoping for similar revelations and was disappointed. However, as the show was packed out on the afternoon I came, it has obviously been a success. It was very well hung, but in view of the crowds, would have benefitted from a much larger space.

Not sure that Anne's comment is quite fair. The remit of the exhibition was 'The Painting of Modern Life'. I don't think is was intended to be a full retrospective of either his life or his work. Indeed, there were none of his portraits (of which there are many), very few of his non-industrial landscapes, none of his seascapes and only one of the many paintings he did in and around Berwick on Tweed where he used to take his holidays. In my opinion the chosen works DID fulfill the brief of depicting modern life, although one might argue that those he painted in his later years were hardly 'modern', rather a remembrance of his youth - but at that age, who can blame him for that!

I knew nothing about Lowry (apart from the “matchstick men” song) until I read a glowing review of the exhibit in the Grauniad. So my wife and I used this as an excuse, bought airline tickets and advance tickets for the exhibit and off we went.

Overall impression: you let too many people in to what is a “timed-entry” exhibit. It was so crowded, it was almost impossible to see the pictures. This was exacerbated by the number of apparently myopic visitors who needed to look at them from about 6 inches.

Once we figured out that we had to put up our elbows and throw politeness to the winds, we did get to see some of the art on display. OK. So Lowry did show the grimy, smoke-filled, claustrophobic Northern England of his time – and he did it well. You could feel what it must have been like to live there. But – over and over again, the same basic picture. I don’t understand why. Maybe you do need to look at them from 6 inches.

Interesting. But the overcrowding means that we won’t be taking a transatlantic flight to see anything else at the Tate – however tempting. And your Klee exhibit is tempting.

Paul H

Sorry but in over 10 years of coming to the Tate this was my worst experience to date - what I could see was great but could not see much, control on numbers entering was totally lost, 11am on a Tuesday in the exhibition made Camden Market on a Saturday look like a cemetery.

There is a system please use it.

Paul

Saw 'Lowry' yesterday. Loved the contextualisation of his painting - in fact, my favourite piece was actually Utrillo's 'Porte Saint Martin'. What interested me most was that my favourite Lowry paintings were spread right throughout his career.

DEREK

really enjoyed exhibition as did the large number of elderly people who may have come together on a coach from Manchester to re-visit their childhood ?.Would have liked to see more film of Lowry painting but it may not exist. A great record of harder times... the Removal (eviction) and the fever van. Derek

I have loved Lowry's work since I was at school in the 1960's - although I had only seen a few of the originals before yesterday. Although known for his 'matchstick men', it struck me that he put quite a lot of detail into his people. In the same way as a cartoonist, he conveys a lot about the person by using the minimum of brushstrokes. Something else that surprised me was how bright and colourful the paintings are - the white backgrounds of course, but also a lot of red, yellow and blue even in the stark industrial landscapes. One criticism if I may; even though I arrived early it was far too crowded, with six or more people at every painting - so many in fact that some paintings were obscured by those trying to see the one next to it - perhaps wider spacing would have helped.

I did not know Lowry's work, so this Exhibition was a shock to me. Having read Hobsbaum's Industrial Revolution I thought that I had some idea of what it was all about. Lowry proved me wrong. And I am thankful for that. Lowry painted the Industrial Revolution. But his focus was not on the machines and the buildings, his emphasis was on people. All of his landscapes are landscapes of humanity. They existed because somewhere somehow human beings were doing things with and within them. The friend I visited the Exhibition with made the following comment: "Even when these people were watching a football game, it looks as if they were working." This captures Lowry's genius. There is a powerful flow in these pictures, it is the flow of WORK. No matter where people are, no matter what they are doing, ALL is framed and defined by WORK. Thank you for a unforgettable Exhibition.

vienna

Always liked Lowry. The Industrial Revolution, the aftermath of it and just the "busy bee" matchstick creatures telling us the grim but also honest truth of part of our heritage and history, depicted by a master of observation. Inspired me to do a drawing of the Wembley towers during their demolition. He could have drawn it with Bolton Wanderers playing.

As a social commentary of the working and living conditions in 20th century Northern England it was very interesting. Do we take it that there is a certain optimism of the working class, who are determined to enjoy their pursuits, despite the harsh realities of life, or is it all unrelenting gloom. Some of the blighted almost apocalyptic landscape paintings compare well with the WWI paintings of Paul Nash ion the main collection. However -as a painter I think Lowry is of only monor significance, and in art terms --the Pissaro, the Van Gogh and the Utrillo's in this exhibition are of much greater interest. The great enigma of Lowry is that as a lifelong conservative, he is demonstrating the harsh realities of working class life, whilst said to not hold much sympathy for them.

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I live in the town that is famous for the pitman painters therefore Lowry is a favourite of mine I found the exhibition both informative and enlightening the atmosphere of the gallery reflected the mood of the paintings and subject well. The only thing I was disappointed by was not being able to purchase the Lowry exhibition poster as you were sold out I would be very grateful if it was possible to purchase one of those left on the wall which one of the assistants said would be able to buy at some point towards the end of the exhibition.

An enjoyable if very crowded exhibition. I am not a Lowry fan but I did find some of the paintings drew me in. A lot of it is very depressing so I liked pictures like VE day which were more joyful and colourful.

The landscapes in the last room, especially of Wales were lovely.

I visited the exhibition with my 7-year old daughter who had heard about Lowry from her art teacher. We were fascinated by the stories Lowry tells through his paintings and how he shows what ordinary life looked some years ago.

Fantastic exhibition!

The exhibition brought to light Lowry’s skills as a brilliant draughtsman. Seeing his pencil drawings, which were made with such a variety of marks and strokes, was one of the highlights. There were other surprises that also made me see another dimension to Lowry’s work. These include his huge industrial landscape paintings in the last room. I never knew he had done such large scale work. These really allowed him to experiment with detail. Additionally, in the landscape paintings generally, the paint was often applied more thickly and less delicately than in his other work, making it feel more immediate, passionate involved with the subject.

Strangely moving to see these pictures for real. They brought me back with a lurch to my childhood in Accrington and Rawtenstall in the early '50s. No nostolgia! Even the sense of community that existed at that time couldn't compensate for the foul air, the smut on the nappies on the line, the smog in the valley behind our house like thick grey soup. But the humanity of this work is such a strong social record. It cuts through to the heart. Lowry reminds us of the social achievements that developed in the UK to raise the quality of life for ordinary folk. A sad reminder at a time when so much is being stripped away in the name of material success, competition, individualistic ambition. So I was left with a feeling of regret that we don't seem to have learnt his lessons, despite Danny Boyle's gut wrenching echoes of it all at the opening of the Olympic Games last year.

I absolutely loved the Lowry exhibition. I was surprised at the vitality and energy in the paintings and when looking closely- character differences between what initially appear to be 'matchstick figures'. This was overcoming a dislike of Lowry from growing up with his paintings hung seemingly high up on Primary school walls in the 60's. At the time I felt the colours were just dull and I did not have any understanding of the world he captured. I loved the show's curation but would agree with others the need for notes to be more accessible - perhaps displayed at two heights or larger print. I almost always love the notes in Tate exhibitions; simply informative and unaffected. I went to see the exhibition twice; the first time with the good audio guide and the second just to absorb the paintings I liked. I had visited Oldham year before last and saw their library's exhibition on Shirley Baker - photographing Manchester and environs in the 60's. This helped me understand more, as did a brief clip of Lowry on film ( BBC - 'Artist's in their own words' responding to the question why he painted as he did and his staccato repeated response 'I just have to'. It was a shame the Tate did not screen Lowry on film more than once - I missed the one in September. All in all a fantastic exhibition!

I came to see the show primarily because my mother wanted to see it. The exhibition was well laid out and coherent- I learnt a lot about Lowry and his training with Valette was instructive. I felt that the two most revealing elements were the pencil sketches and the nature of his actual social comment which he incorporated in his paintings. I was not very enamoured of his later work which began to feel like a self pastiche but some of his earlier paintings I really liked especially those with the really dark and brooding palette. The more I think about the exhibition the more I realise that we need someone like him now who can depict the rows of empty houses and empty streets in cities like Liverpool and perhaps someone might notice. The other thought I had when viewing the exhibition was briefly to compare Lowry's paintings with Hitler's paintings of streets devoid of humanity. Need I say more.

My wife & I visited today and as exiled Northerners in the south came to see what the fuss was about! Spent an absorbing 90 mins appreciating the detail & quality of his work at close quarters while being quietly serenaded by Gracie Fields in the background. The whole exhibition of his work was well laid out in addition to other artists who had been sneaked in to supplement any gaps in other rooms. We realised he is not particularly good at country landscapes but will forgive him. Knowing Wigan we smiled at George Orwell's description of the town in 1937 & Lowry's interpretation of it. Wonderful day; need to decide which print to replace other pictures.

The Lowry exhibition presented some splendid paintings: it was excellent to see them gathered together and with some informative comments.I also found the time-line an interesting adjunct. The audio commentary was clear and engaging and offered appropriate options. However, the captions to the paintings were far too small, had poor contrasting colour and were extremely difficult to read - one should not have to crane forward, as so many people were doing - and and complaining about it. Please, in future, ensure inclusion and accessibility for all by increasing font size and improving contrast colour.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. It gave a real feeling of the life of the industrial workers. The stick drawings of the people are most expressive. We need more shows of realistic painters.

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