Hundreds of you have shared your thoughts and questions on Tate Britain’s Lowry show with our Assistant Curator Helen Little. Here, she shares her thoughts back
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences of Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life. It’s exciting to read about the ways in which the exhibition has brought about new perceptions and discoveries about Lowry’s art and life, most obviously his connections to the French and the revelatory prowess of his late industrial panoramas. Yet beneath these fresh lines of enquiry it strikes me that on the whole, the exhibition has encouraged a deeper response to Lowry’s work and its legacy today, framed by his unique relationship to the world. Lowry’s images are complex records of industrial Britain; and astonishingly rich yet mundane as life was, his approach to depicting the humdrums of working class life tinged with pathos, indifference and irony. It is interesting to think about his urban scenes in the context of the Mass Observation: This is Your Photo exhibition currently at the Photographers’ Gallery, London, where we discover that Lowry wasn’t alone in constructing images of ‘the North’ during the early 20th century.
Lowry will always remain a paradox and I hope the exhibition’s success is marked by visitors wanting to seek out more about this remarkable artist’s work. Our thesis for Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life is unique and particular and is only part of the story. We want to argue for Lowry’s status as Britain’s pre-eminent painter of industrial life, but this is not to forget that he had other interests, as his fascinating portraits and seascapes reveal. Perhaps this exhibition will encourage closer study of these other fascinating aspects of his practice and its place in 20th century art.
Meanwhile, I hope you will enjoy Lowry’s The Old House, Grove Street, Salford 1948, currently on display as part of Tate Britain’s BP Walk through British Art, that tells us about a further aspect of Lowry in the context of his British contemporaries.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on Lowry with me. I’ll be posting more over the coming weeks; I look forward to chatting with you on the blog again soon.