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L.S.Lowry - a visionary artist

Report of the lecture given by Michael Howard MA Courtauld, BAHons, on Wednesday 25th February 2009

L.S. Lowry (1887 - 1976), or as Michael referred to him, Mr. Lowry - he was a Victorian after all - is an artist whose work is etched on our public conscious-ness. However, he is a much more complex and varied artist than the popular image of the painter that has come down to us. Michael's lecture introduced us to the full range of his work. His cityscapes were inspired by his life-long knowledge of the industrial cities and towns of North-West England. He walked the streets of Manchester and Salford both professionally as a rent collector, and for pleasure as an observer of everyday life.

The lecture wove in references to music, literature and history as well as considering the relationship of his works to Lowry's own private life and the way we can understand them today. Particularly challenging was Michael's suggestion that Lowry is perhaps the painter of the industrial revolution and the spiritual uncertainty and anxiety associated with it and that in works such as The Lake of 1937, he can be genuinely set along aside TS Eliot's great poem of 1922, 'The Wasteland.'

Michael brought out Lowry's fascination with the composition of paintings, his unique technique and the extraordinary nature of his 'dream-landscapes, figure compositions and the compelling images of the open sea which suggest that Lowry was indeed the visionary artist of the lecture's title.

Two of our members enjoy a lively discussion on .L.S.Lowry with lecturer Michael Howard.
The latter is holding his definitive book on the great painter.