Laurence Stephen Lowry 1887-1976


Research Point

Look at and research different artists’ depictions of landscape. For example look at: Durer’s landscapes are some of the earliest recordings of the northern Renaissance world created. Claude Lorrain’s designed landscapes using classical proportions, the British artist Lowry’s images of industrial life. Make notes in your learning log.

Always a favourite of mine.  I admire how he can make one image both simple and complex at the same time.  Many of his paintings simplify the human element into bustling ants going about their business in a built up, crowded industrial city. Not many artists, that I am currently aware of, try to convey the volumes of people in these confined spaces yet he makes them an integral part of the cityscape.  Without all these people why would there be cities in the first place? Seems odd to leave them out really.

Coming Out of School by LS Lowry

Coming Out of School by LS Lowry

I chose Coming Out of School as I stared at a print of this many times that hung outside my school’s staff room – hopefully that doesn’t mean I was always in trouble! In addition to the depiction of the scene itself, it invokes childhood memories and makes me smile. Lowry captures a moment and a narrative in the ordinary every day.

Returning from Work by LS Lowry

Returning from Work by LS Lowry 1929 (Oil on Canvas)

I also like Returning from Work, this is a little more detailed regarding the people as you can see faces and expressions rather than purely body language. Yet the background of factories and the smog they produced gives atmosphere and a sense of place. Lowry has used the crowd as the structural element for the foreground, the midground consists of the factory gates and the distance is led away by misty factory buildings, his version of far hills and sky.

The Bandstand, Peel Park by LS Lowry

The Bandstand, Peel Park by LS Lowry, 1931

The Bandstand, Peel Park shows an elevated view. One can imagine that this is a weekend and everyone wants to enjoy the outdoors and wide open space, but the looming, smoking chimneys are never far away. Lowry is a master of story telling.

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