Tate Britain show to 'reappraise' Lowry
Tate Britain is to stage its first major exhibition devoted to the work of LS Lowry, showcasing paintings that have been kept from public view for decades.
Sir Ian McKellen has led a campaign to have the artist’s work displayed in the London gallery.
The Tate holds 23 Lowry works but only one, Industrial Landscape (1955), has been on display in the capital in the past 20 years. Another six paintings, including Coming Out Of School (1927) and The Pond (1950) are held in storage and 16 drawings are available to view only by appointment.
Sir Ian made a documentary last year claiming it was “a shame verging on the iniquitous that foreign visitors to London shouldn’t have access to the painter English people like more than most others”.
Others, including musician Noel Gallagher, accused the Tate of anti-northern bias.
Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life is one of the highlights of Tate Britain’s 2013 season, announced yesterday, and will run from June to October next year.
The show will feature 80 works, many of them loaned, and will “reappraise Lowry for a new and extended audience”.
A Tate spokesman said: “Without his pictures, Britain would arguably lack an account in paint of the experiences of the 20th century.”
Chris Stephens, Tate Britain’s head of displays, said last year that Lowry was “a victim of his own fan base”, explaining: “What makes Lowry so popular is the same thing which stops him being the subject of serious critical attention. What attracts so many is a sort of sentimentality about him.”
The greatest collection of the artist's work is housed in The Lowry in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester. The Lowry Collection comprises 57 oil paintings and over 300 works on paper.
A permanent display there currently has 145 works on display. This summer, to coincide with Lowry's 125th anniversary, that number will almost double.