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

Peter Earley

We loved the exhibition but a bit disappointed that there were none of his seascapes or some of his 'blacker' pictures such as Ann.

vivbeard

Very enjoyable exhibition. We really appreciated the introduction with the historical significance.

bonaccord

I visited the exhibition yesterday afternoon but found the rooms too crowded to really appreciate the paintings or see them properly. I will visit the exhibition again.

I have seen many of the paintings before, either in reproduction or in the Lowry gallery in Salford. I don't rate him as a great artist but it is good to have such a wide selection of his paintings together in one place.

The Patrick Caulfield exhibition which had almost no viewers when I was there in the morning was much more to my taste with many vibrant, large, colourful paintings.

OFVCAT

The main positive I took from the exhibition was an appreciation of the variety of Lowry’s work. There were some very strange paintings, like “The Cripples”, where matchstick men gave way to better fed but horribly deformed figures. There were also the broader urban landscapes of his later years, where the people seemed less important than the environment. I used the audio guide but found it disappointing. At times it was a bit trite: “here is a man confident in the use of materials”. Also there were discussions of morality and politics which were unconvincing on the whole. Generally an afternoon well spent however.

Brenda Soskin

I really enjoyed the exhibition and found it both informative and thought provoking. One comment I would like to pass on is that there were a couple of very young babies in prams with their mums and grandmothers who constantly screamed throughout and were not taken outside. There were also some young toddlers running amok. Can I suggest that children under the age of three are not admitted. At their young age they couldn't appreciate the exhibition and really spoilt it for the rest of us who were looking forward to a peaceful time.

Paul Evans

The Lowry exhibition was, for me, of great interest as I have an interest industrial archaeology and the works are an insight and record (rarely illustrated elsewhere) of the reality of the social effects of the industrial revolution. The exhibition gave a much broader and rounded view of Lowry’s work and I enjoyed them all. However the landscapes were of particular note. Personally, coming from a background of the Welsh Valleys those Welsh scenes were particularly interesting. The hill (as described in the note next to the painting) in Bargoed 1965 is most probably a coal slag heap as this is a typical shape of such. It represents a scene still in the memories of many and perhaps a presentiment of the Aberfan disaster of 1966 – a very moving image indeed. I thank the Tate for arranging such a comprehensive collection of Lowry’s work.

Rene Chang

Went to see the Lowry exhibition with a friend yesterday. Liked Lowry's easily recognisable crowd scenes of football matches, although I am not sure of their social significance. After all the Romans invented mass games to anaesthetise the working people. I also like the picture of Piccadilly Circus although it is out of date (painted in the 20s) as the fountain has been shifted to the right. Although I did enjoy the exhibition I am not sure of Lowry as a worker's painter. also having lived in London all my life and not having been to Manchester, I cannot judge the paintings of named places in Manchester. Some of the pencil and paper work were quite detailed and exquisite.

pongo snodgrass

I thought it was a very sharp, well-curated summary of Lowry's work. I was delighted to see the catalogue from the 1976 Royal Academy retrospective which I attended with my mum! I was only eight, but it turned me into a lifelong Lowry fan, in spite of long periods when he was considered to be 'naf'f'. This exhibition made me look at Lowry's work with fresh eyes. His drawings show that he was a very good draftsman; the room highlighting his influences demonstrate the context in which he was working and the paintings themselves reveal what an eye for composition he had. His best works are elegantly balanced, in contrast to the often harsh subject matter depicted. His colour palette is limited and subtle and depth is achieved through the layering of buildings from foreground through to the far distance. Lowry's figures range from the crowds of impressionistic 'matchstick men' at football matches and fairs to more fleshed out characters, which I wasn't expecting. The grotesque depiction of disabled people in The Cripples was not as convincing - for me - as that of men marching as one body down the street in a painting in the same room. Lowry was more than just a chronicler of life in the heavily industrialised cities of the North-West: he saw beauty where few others did, and truth in the humblest environments. I can't wait to take my sons to the exhibition next week and see what they make of it!

ashar goodsall

Not the best exhibition I have seen at the Tate I was hoping for more of the stuff we haven’t seen much of. The landscapes and individual portraits, and whilst this is a very extensive exhibition it has very few surprises. I have given up my Tate membership as I have found that the exhibitions have become staid and boring. The only one worth seeing in the last few years was the Ashile Gorki. I used to find the take exciting now it is very middle of the road. Although I did enjoy the new hanging of British artists in the last century very good. but there again some disappointments NO Sandra Blow, Barbara Rae or Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. Yes I know you can’t hang everyone but the women did seem a bit neglected. However i just loved the Francis Bacon triptych brilliantly hung at the end of the gallery.

ashar goodsall

Not the best exhibition I have seen at the Tate I was hoping for more of the stuff we haven’t seen much of. The landscapes and individual portraits, and whilst this is a very extensive exhibition it has very few surprises. I have given up my Tate membership as I have found that the exhibitions have become staid and boring. The only one worth seeing in the last few years was the Ashile Gorki. I used to find the take exciting now it is very middle of the road. Although I did enjoy the new hanging of British artists in the last century very good. but there again some disappointments NO Sandra Blow, Barbara Rae or Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. Yes I know you can’t hang everyone but the women did seem a bit neglected. However i just loved the Francis Bacon triptych brilliantly hung at the end of the gallery.

janet harris

I thoroughly enjoyed the Lowry exhibition, I have always been a fan remembering the prints on the wall of my primary school many years before. (and me a mere southerner). It was especially interesting to see the archive video footage recording the real factory workers trudging through the northern streets which showed Lowry's interpretation to be surprisingly realistic and perceptive.

Andi Edan

Lowry's pallet is not limited at all. It is just muted so that when he does use colour, the impact is that much greater. Bit like Morandi's paintings.

kate hendy

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. I spent time investigating his figure which actually say so much although so small and many without detail. Also looked at the palette he used and it is so limited apart from reds to brighten and enhance the painting.

Mig Bonnefoy

Superb! A really worth while day out and was a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of this artist. Looking forward to the next one already!

Primrose

Very well mounted and not too crowded. Difficult to get to text on the wall by the pictures, specially when short sighted.

Killer133

I attended this exhibition with twelve friends from our art appreciation group and we were all disappointed. Four of my friends said to me separately that they were depressed by it. It didn't make me feel that way, but honestly, how many paintings of peeps walking in & out of a mill/factory/footie match do I need to see in one day? It left us wondering if Lowry really COULD paint. The sketches prove he could but it was boring. I went fairly quickly through the last two rooms, as I'd seen so many similar works in the first rooms. Rather a shame.

ashar goodsall

What makes it all the more disappointing is there is so much more that we never get to see

Killer133

I must add that after the Lowry we went to see the Patrick Caulfield exhibition and it lifted all of our spirits. I was expecting to like it (as I was Lowry) but it far exceeded those expectations. What a painter!

Val1

We really enjoyed this latest exhibition. To see Lowry's view of the world as it developed and to understand more of the man's history helped to appreciate the art and the artist more. It was moving and unsettling at the same time.

Linda@Salisbury

Having lived near Manchester all my early life, I am a huge fan of Lowry and he inspires me to create poetry. The exhibition is wonderful (in the true sense of the word). Thank you.

Andi Edan

Still, I guess they would never turn blue - just variations of white :-)

mrmrgd

This is true. I have heard Lowry speaking of this on a TV or radio documentary. He would experiment with whites, leaving some exposed to daylight and some kept out of it for extended periods so that he could judge how his work would look in the future and adjust his mixture accordingly.

whatdoIknow

Just seen Andi Edan's comment regarding Lowry's skies. Years ago, before the Lowry Centre was built and Salford City Museum and Art Gallery housed the painting Lowry had given to Salford, I recall on one visit speaking to an attendant who said when he was alive Lowry would visit from time to time to "see how the white was getting on". Apparently he mixed his own white and knew it would alter with time and that he knew his skies would change. I cannot vouch for the truth of this but that is the story this guy told us - around 1980, so it was not long after he had died.

Andi Edan

Have loved Lowry for a long time, mainly through reproductions so this show is a real treat. Although this probably shouldn't have been a surprise, I noted that there are NO BLUE SKIES. Not even in the seaside and funfair paintings, which are the "jolliest" of the lot. Someone said that most of the work was in the north of England which explained the lack of blue skies but I disagree. I think these are the skies in Lowry's mind and they convey what he felt rather than what was actually there. An excellent show. Hope to go again before it ends.

Graham Avison

An impressive collection showing a wide range of Lowry’s capability beyond his stick men! - and the portrayal of the war as well as industrial, every day life and pastimes taken up by people. In contrast to other comments said – I would say that Lowry lightened our viewing – the streets are wide and pale in colour (to show up the figures I have to assume) compared to the reality of the grime that must have been everywhere. As already said – it is very interesting to see the impact that his tutor Adolphe Valette made on his style and the hints of Impressionism. It makes it more tantalising to see the Salford Collection at some point to see some more of his work, including the later work so as to see more of the darker side to Lowry.

Beth Hardman

I have known Lowry's work since 1950s ,but still found much new and interesting in this show. The link to the French artists, for instance, and the wonderful Lowry drawings in the same room. I thought the opening room was strong, very well chosen, and that the quotes on the walls throughout were illuminating. What really stunned me was the Blitz picture, partly because the Lowry man became Everyman, and perhaps Lowry himself. It summed up the feeling of that time. I found a lot of emotion in the pictures, fantastic composition,(Going to the Match) and the idea of the visionary landscape strong and interesting. I noticed someone else had written about Richard Dorment's meanminded comments in the Telegraph. What is really annoying is that a damning quote is reprinted in the What to see section each week. I would have thought this show, if he has indeed bothered to go and see it, showed there was a lot more to Lowry as a painter than any of the matchstick man nonsense. Also agreed with the writer who said we needed bigger labels higher up. This is true of all busy exhibitions, not just Tate's. Altogether I want to congratulate you and the other curators for a very thought-provoking exhibition, very well-chosen. Shall be back!

alpayne

It is a very well presented exhibition and a real joy to to journey through the rooms. There cannot be that many artists who have so successfully represented an age, detached, yet immersed. I agree with those that would have liked to see more written about the works and I did spot one work that was attributed 'oil on canvas' when it was in fact 'oil on board'

Andi Edan

Have to agree with you on the representation of an age. Even though his "political" leanings are obvious, the paintings are still wonderful and can stand alone as works of art.

Trevor Robertson

The gallery rooms were well laid out, but unfortunately it was a bit crowded for me so getting close to the smaller works was difficult. It struck me that perhaps Tate were trying to replicate the paintings with an ironic twist, by filling the space with leaning Lowry-esque figures. I shall return however.

Jane Clare

Having overcome decades of snobbishness (what else?) and exhibited Lowry, Tate could at least have included examples of his portraits, seascapes, and even (if available) his odd, and arguably disturbing, later work of women's underwear. Here was an opportunity to dispel the popular image of matchstick men and belching factory chimneys, yet I think it was only partly achieved. I'd always put him in the same category as Rousseau, yet Tate Mod was happy to give Le Douanier a good airing a few years ago. Having seen an excellent exhibition of naïve art last year in Devon, I'll never be snooty about that again. If such as Rose Wylie can win awards, how can Lowry be criticised? Yes, he's repetitive, yes, he summarises his figures (no worse than Monet's or Pissarro's), but 'Flowers in a Window' hints at his eye for detail: the uneven paving slabs are emphasised by a few simple black lines of differing size. Yes, his cityscapes are montages rather than actual, yet in one of his drawings from the Royal Technical College, he leaves in a dirty great chimney blocking much of the view. The faces in the auction house drawings show he could differentiate, so why no painted portraits here? As a rent-collector, Lowry would hardly have been the most popular inhabitant in the neighbourhood, so he may have deliberately not painted 'real' people. His comments on crowds were interesting: there are little touches of humour or sympathy in some of his figure depictions, but I found little differentiation in the crowd as a mass, whether round the fever van, the auction, football match, funeral or wedding. My favourite rooms were the last three. 'Blitzed Site' for me was as fine as some of Nevinson, Paul Nash, Piper, and many others I've seen in the Imperial War Museum (an institution surely due a rename). Lowry's colour came to life in the ruined landscapes. 'The Lake', of 1939, with its green and sulphurous smoke, lurid detritus in the steely , putrid water, implied a circle of hell. Was he being prophetic? His many gate posts, leading us inevitably to the Necropolis, or as ruined evidence of a different, more elegant past before the industrial mess all around, could be a regret for a redundant old order. Some of Lowry's churches loom as malevolently as his chimneys. Appropriate, since church or chapel figured largely in the lives of many of his subjects. The large works in the last room formed an exclamation mark at the end of this exhibition. There was personal resonance for me in some of his work. Ancoats Hospital Outpatients took me straight back to long waiting in Mayday Eye Hospital as a child. My cousins lived in Stalybridge in the 1950s, next to the canal. I still remember the black-caked buildings and the stifling, sun-denying smogs. The dull clothes of the people were just so in that post-war era. Lowry's hemlines go up or down according to fashions of the decade. The fairs contain old images: men wore hats and all smoked, children were happy with simple amusements like windmills on sticks, balloons and flags. Not a mobile in sight! People found amusement and distraction despite their hard lives. In 'A Protest March' the figures stride purposefully en bloc down the middle of the street. Strength in unity. God knows, they needed it, even in 1959, yet this wasn't the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, and there aren't any banners to help, so what was the march for? Some suggestions in the blurb might have helped those who have no experience of past and present protests. Some mischievous person who seems to share my politics has included quotes on the wall or in the guide, which had me muttering 'Plus ca change.....' The Richard Hoggart and John Berger extracts were particularly prescient in our current age of vilification of the poor, unfortunate and vulnerable, and politicians' self-interested inability to look ahead. The terraces are gone (not, arguably, the best solution), the factories and filth are cleaned up, but the discrimination and social inequality remain. What would Lowry have thought and painted if he were still here in our insular, profligate, cruel age? Thank you, Tate, for offering an exhibition that makes me see the wider view, and that is most enjoyable, and for this forum giving me the opportunity to share my opinions. PS: Seeing Caulfield and Hume (and the atmospheric Starling film) on the same day was a good breather after the crowded Lowry. Hume is very glossy and beautiful in a minimalist way at first sight, but not a patch on Caulfield whom I've always admired for his wit, craft and wow factor. For years I stupidly thought the lake scene in 'After Lunch' was a photo collaged on. How this man could paint! And include so many different types of surface and texture in one work, whilst playing with our concept of light, human presence or absence and spatial awareness at the same time. Superb! Next, please: An exploration of Vallette, Denis, Serusier, Bazille and other lesser-knowns in the shadow of the stars of Impressionism who've had more than enough exposure!

ruthhall2000

I thought this was a fantastic exhibition. I didn't know that Lowry had been a rent collector and that knowledge enabled me to see his work through a different pair of eyes. I thought the information provided about Lowry and the paintings was spot-on. It was also interesting to see works by other artists on the same themes or painted at the same time - but Lowry always has the edge!

calimbri

I have not seen the exhibiton yet, but I was wondering if there is any of Lowrys formal drawings and early work from Art School. In the sixties my friend and fellow art student visited Lowry because he wrote his thesis for his diploma on the artist.

We were also being influence by our Victor Passmore, who was a close friend of William Coldstream, who was heavliy in the industrial landscape of the North.

Coldstream is a contemporary to Lowry as with several other artists who depicted the industrial landscapes, which would have put the artist in context.

tysonsusan

My son and I really enjoyed the exhibition but I feel it would have benefited greatly if more contextual information had been provided. I was born in Lancashire and much of the exhibition was walk down memory lane from me but I could tell from comments of other visitors that most people had no idea of what the northern landscape looked like in Lowry's time. Even your use of the word "apocalyptic" is misleading as its use suggests you believe that is the view Lowry is representing. People around me commented on how dark the skies and the clothes were but, of course they were as this was before the clean air act when every house, mill and train was fuelled by coal. I remember when out town hall was cleaned up and everyone marveled that the stone was sand-coloured rather than the sooty black we were used to. I noticed that Lowry's paintings themselves became brighter through the years but I don't think this was just because of post-war optimism but also a reflection of the fact that many of the soot-belching chimneys had started to disappear and life was indeed cleaner. I don't know whether the crators visited the scenes that Lowry painted or took the trouble to seek out photos taken at the time. They would have seen that Lowry's paintings were very accurate IMPRESSIONS of northern industrial towns whose skylines were indeed dominated by the mill and factory chimneys and where the mills really were at the centre of communal life. My favourite painting was the Procession which, to me anyway, showed the people enjoying a day out, dressed in their Sunday best. I suspect this was a depiction of the Whit Walks but, as with so many other exhibits, I would have liked to know more about the location and context. I don't really care whether Lowry was a "good painter" or not, all I know is that his paintings remind me of the home I grew up in. Thank you, Lowry and thank you Tate Britain for finally giving him some space.

uwsscnyc

I was really taken by this exhibition, in terms of both substance and format. It opens subtly, bursts into life in the middle section and then spills from the canvas into the great open. Walking through the exhibition felt to me like being part of an interactive slide show in which both the viewer and the exhibits play active roles and where one takes the other on their own personal journey. Artist's quiet determination and conviction palpable throughout. Landscapes were a revelation to me and I loved the way he painted sky. A large show that kept me engaged from start to finish. Going back soon.

HertfordHouse

This exhibition is a very enjoyable record of Lowry's observations of working class life in England in the 1920s and 30s,the political and cultural changes of the 1950s and the bleak industrial landscapes left behind. Critics are often snotty about Lowry's work suggesting he could only draw matchstick men, the pencil drawings of groups of men at an auction tell the viewer otherwise. The inclusion of works by Valette are interesting in their own right.

It is true that Lowry had other interests ,portraits and his strange attachment to and drawings of a young girl. But this exhibition does not claim to show a total record of his work. Enjoy it for what it does show and rejoice that this artist has a place in the Tate at last.

Peter King

The show is very good, as far as it goes. The early black & white ciné clips, and the works by Valette are valuable additions. But why have you provided such a limited selection of Lowry's work? The industrial landscapes are clearly his most important work ... but where are his seascapes and where are his portraits, without which you cannot hope to give a rounded picture of his interests, talents and personality?

I went the other day with a French friend who had written her dissertation on Lowry many years ago. She was as disappointed as me with your limited vision. I will shortly be taking some Polish friends to your show but how, on the basis of your selection, can I persuade them that Lowry was so much more than a one-trick-pony?

I believe it's nearly 40 years since the last major public Lowry show in London, yet you manage to show only part of the story. It's good to see the many comments of visitors who have thoroughly enjoyed the show ... but how much greater their enjoyment would have been had you provided the broader picture .... a major opportunity missed.

dventers

I was surprised by some of the comments, I am always amazed at how much character Lowry manages to get into his sparse figures, their stooped shoulders and downlooking heads add to the feeling of despair in some of the earlier pictures, whilst the demeanour of the figures at the fair shows a much happier group. I also thought the contrast between the pre and post war pictures, in the use of colour and tone, showed a rise in optimism, and hope for a better future. I would love to have seen the two Fair pictures, pre and post war, side by side. The exhibition was a wonderful story of the development of our post industrial society, and for me showed the progress that society made in the early twentieth century.

Martina Weitsch

The exhibition was fascinating. There were some paintings that were quite new to me and different from the more commonly known Lowry paintings. I was interested to see that he had much more of a standing in Paris than in London. But what was most interesting to me was the parallels between his time and ours especially during his early years. I congratulate the Tate on putting this on and on putting it on now. We had a great day!

Martin Willey

Very wide ranging giving an excellent insight into the man. However so much of what he painted was bleak. Havibg been on the periphery of a number of regeneration schemes located in his pictures there is life after the industrial revolution!

Mary-Ann Munford

Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, especially viewing Lowrie as a social commentator. Prompted me to ponder the sacrifices made for an industrial revolution and wonder about China's current plight. I enjoyed the commentary. Lowrie clearly observed human life very closely and had some important insights for example .. that all crowds look the same in the end regardless of location, situation, decade and that humans are so resilient, overcoming the hardships of life, battling through and taking time to love, share, laugh, cry, celebrate, no matter how rich or how poor.

barbara may

Absolutely loved the exhibition -it gave a real insight into the mind of Lowry and his observations of life in the Industrial Revolution. Although he mostly painted scenes of a less happy nature, he also had a sense of humour and we enjoyed the few happier scenes at the beach and the fair. It is amazing how the figures have such personalities and not a true face amongst them. Their postures said it all.

jennylewis

Loved the show especially the super simple line drawings. Amazing to see after the Caulfield, seemed like so many similarities getting the essence of a scene down to a few graphic lines.

Des

I enjoyed the exhibition very much and it was the first time that I’ve seen a collection of Lowry’s works in one place. A frustrating dynamic to his living subjects left me wanting to know more about the individuals depicted, but the artist permits only a detached and fleeting snapshot of a moment in their lives as they hurry across our field of view, preserving their anonymity. His dark landscapes reminded me a little of the works of John Martin. Lowry was an extraordinarily gifted artist who appears to have been mightily misunderstood and misjudged until comparatively recently.

Davel_isleofdogs

The exhibition was enjoyable, the landscapes of Northern Britian could fit many pre-war landscapes. The one theme that was there but not implicitly mentioned was the Northern adherence to parochialism. The paintings had the components, factories, methodism and town halls. These three things were part of everyday life. I think as with every artist there are stand out paintings, but this is a little bit subjective. I also noted other comments £60 a year hardly seems expensive, and added bonuses come from membership. So if you are likely to attend at least five times, it is worth the one off payment.

Peter Fordham

As I naive young Londoner I journeyed up to Lancashire in the mid-seventies for my first job in helping to deal with the dereliction legacy of over 100 years of industrialisation. It was then I got to know the work of Lowry and today it is as vivid a commentary on the social, economic and industrial environment and its subsequent decline and the impact on working people as I remember. Whilst there is a harrowing beauty in his paintings there is no romanticism, it lays bare the trials and tribulations, but also the strong community, that came with living and working in the industrial north-west. Much of the industrial landscape that Lowry depicted has thankfully now passed into distant memories, what remains is often the sanitised heritage. Lowry is as important a commentator as George Orwell, lest we forget the burden our Lancashire brethren bore in creating the wealth of the nation. A timely reminder in this era of austerity.

ianlaw

We thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. My wife is now a convert. Went to the Lowry in Salford a few years ago, but found this better.

Calm0603

Overall, an excellent exhibition. Sometimes I do skim exhibitions of this size and spend time with those that strike me particularly. With 6 rooms, viewing can be daunting. With this exhibition, I viewed everything - even though I stayed with some more than others. Remarkable artist and I loved the irony and humour mixed with the darkness of his subject, which really brought out some of the steely character of the communities he portrays. It was given more depth and irony due to some of the comments of others - e.g., one middle class-sounding man commented on Just Standing Around, "What a boring title", perhaps summing up his lack of empathy for the humdrum life portrayed n the painting. I particularly liked some of more atypical work and especially those in Room 4. These moved me to tears whereas many of the others were more of a cerebral experience. The Impressionist connections were subtly made with occasional paintings by influences and teachers. I'm no expert on art or art history but one oblique and spontaneous connection I made, with regard to those few quite geometric paintings with sharp reds, etc Kandinski. Loved some of the vignettes in cases. Who was his teacher again? An exhibition of his work would be worthwhile viewing. Thought the film excerpts were a great idea, adding depth and dimension and particularly enjoyed the George Formby overplay.

mrmrgd

A generally enjoyable show but poorly curated. The hanging and mixture of works in the different rooms was unclear, seemingly arbitrary and indicated a lack of understanding. Care should be taken when abandoning chronological hanging unless the reasons for doing so are very clear. However, it was good to see so much work together even though many portraits and seascapes were missing and which would have added some greater breadth to the show.

whatdoIknow

I came away with a very mixed reaction.

Having lived very near Lowry's home in Mottram for 30 years, having viewed his work many times at The Lowry Centre and before that at Salford City Art Gallery and, as a teacher, having tried over the years to familiarise and enthuse pupils with "their local great artist" I expected to be very positive.

However, what became apparent to me was that though many of his paintings are populated by numerous human figures they are almost entirely two dimensional - in strong contrast to the buildings - which illuminates the fact that the paintings are almost entirely devoid of human empathy or narrative. For a man whose job brought him into direct and quite intimate contact with a number of families on a daily basis that is a startling indication of Lowry's lack of interest in the human story of the industrial city he portrayed. The fact that the exhibition includes literature such as The Classic Slum and The Uses of Literacy, which explore the many small human triumphs of families living in the industrial urban settings, is very misleading and in fact highlights the fact that Lowry's work is devoid of ambition in that regard. He appeared to see the people either as merely part of the landscapes, or at best, as freaks and pitiably crushed victims; his perspective is that of a voyeur rather than observer, merely adding to perception that it's grim up north and the people are grim too.

The connection to Impressionism seems tenuous. Viewed entirely as landscapes - and being largely unrecognisable as representations of the stated locations - the pictures seemed to me to be nearer to Surrealism, with their huge areas of flooded rivers, derelict spaces and sunken boats.

I have to say I am disappointed to have come to this

tmcrehan11

I ENJOYED THE EXHIBITION VERY MUCH. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE SEEN LOWRY'S PAINTINGS. I MUCH PREFER HIS SMALLER WORKS TO THE LARGER ONEs. IT WAS ALSO INTERSETING TO SEE A FEW WORKS BY SUCH ARTISTs AS HIS TEACHER VALETTE AND ALSO PISSARRO INCLUDED WITH HIS OWN WORK SO YOU CAN SEE WHERE HE GOT SOME OF HIS INSPIRATION FROM. THE BLACK AND WHITE FILM FOOTAGE OF SALFORD IN THE EARLY 1900's WAS ALSO NICE. PEOPLE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF THE POVERTY OF THAT TIME. WELL DONE.

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