The twenty-ninth of November, 2010: I’m sure he once walked down our street

To Manchester, and the Lowry. We were there for the ballet, Matthew Bourne’s Blitz-based Cinderella, but if you go to the Lowry you pretty much have to have a look at the Lowries while you’re there.

I’m not sure what I make of old Lowry. I wish I could be persuaded that those off-kilter bodies and alien faces were really what he intended – that they reflected his vision, rather than his limitations.

More than anything, I found myself irritated by the way in which the post-war deregulation (so to speak) of the arts allowed, and indeed encouraged, Lowry to indulge his melancholy. His art – like most celebrated post-war art – was to be considered important not because of what the artist could do but because of what he felt.

So, from this (which I can see is genuinely valuable – I love the patterns of the crowd and queues):

To this (which I can see is not):

He did a lot of rubbish in Sunderland. Cholera originated in Sunderland, you know.

I’ll finish with Market Scene, Northern Town (1939), because I’m pretty sure it’s the one we used to have a print of on the wall at home.

All homes had to have a Lowry print on the wall in those days.

Market Scene, Northern Town 1939
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One response to “The twenty-ninth of November, 2010: I’m sure he once walked down our street

  1. Yup, we had a Lowry print in the kitchen when I was little. It was mostly in drab shades of brown, which was fitting as the kitchen was too.

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