An exclusive exhibition of the works of LS Lowry is being held to celebrate 130 years of excellence at The University of Nottingham.
In a major coup for the University and the city, the three-month exhibition will include some rarely seen pieces from public and private collections.
Organised in association with London’s Crane Kalman Gallery, the free exhibition will run at the Djanogly Art Gallery, at Lakeside Arts Centre, from 16 November 16 2011 to February 5 2012.
Neil Walker, exhibition curator, said: “I hope that people who might come to the exhibition with a preconceived idea of Lowry based solely on his industrial subjects will leave with a much fuller appreciation of the breadth and complexity of his life’s work.”
Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887–1976) was more than just a painter of densely populated industrial towns, as this exhibition shows. It focuses on the period between the 1920s and mid-1950s and emphasises the metaphorical and semi-autobiographical nature of Lowry’s work.
In the 1930s, personal crisis brought about by the strain of caring for his invalid mother, and the artist’s growing sense of isolation, produced a kind of artistic derailment resulting in an extraordinary body of paintings whose subject matter chimes with the national zeitgeist of pre-war angst: his views of empty industrial wastelands, derelict buildings and a disturbing series of staring portrait heads will all come as a revelation to those who only know Lowry as the poet of the Lancashire mills.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, Lowry served as a volunteer fire-watcher in Manchester, becoming an official war artist in 1943.
And in 1953, he was appointed the official artist at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Lowry later travelled the UK — and the exhibition includes his landscapes of the Lake District, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, as well as a remarkable series of sea paintings — all painted using the trademark five-colour palette of his earlier works.
Lowry famously sketched on whatever paper was at hand, smudging and rubbing at his pencil lines to add depth. This exhibition features a collection of his drawings, ranging from the most cursory of sketches on the back of an envelope to fully realised studies for later paintings.
His posthumous exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1976 attracted record numbers of visitors, and his work still creates great interest at auction.
The exhibition includes a large loan of important works from the collection of The Lowry, Salford. It is generously supported by Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly and The Lowry Estate.
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: ‘‘We are delighted that the University is hosting this nationally important exhibition. It is an exciting opportunity to see a collection of Lowry’s work in the region, and I am sure it will prove to be a stimulating exhibition for everyone attending.”