As one of Britain’s most popular and beloved artists, L.S. Lowry gained fame and recognition for his depictions of Britain’s industrial heartland and those that lived and worked within it. Born in 1887 and raised on the outskirts of Manchester, Lowry worked for almost his entire life as a rent collector in the area. Attending evening classes at Salford School of Art, Lowry would spend his working days sketching those that he saw on his daily rounds, working them up in the evenings in the attic room of his mother’s house under stark electric lights. Today best known for his bustling scenes, full of smoking chimneys, tall red-brick factories and spiking steeples, Lowry’s inspiration for painting these industrial scenes followed his missing a train at Pendlebury station: ‘I saw the Acme Company’s spinning mill: the huge, black framework of rows of yellow-lit windows … against the sad, damp-charged, afternoon sky… The mill was turning out hundreds of little, pinches figures, heads bent down … I watched this scene – which I’d looked at many times without seeing – with rapture.’ Lowry was a prolific artist, producing sketches, worked drawings and paintings from the 1920s until his death in the 1970s. The breadth of Lowry’s working output really does mean that there is something for every collector, at every level, and this is celebrated within the 12 and 13 June sale of Modern & Post-War British Art in London.
This summer, the Jerwood Collection of Modern and Contemporary British Art will hold an exhibition of 25 works by some of Britain’s most distinguished artists, opening to the public on 8 June at Sotheby’s in London.
In April 1951 the BBC produced the first ever documentary film for British television about a living artist, and the natural choice was of course Britain’s most celebrated and successful sculptor, Henry Moore. Produced by John Reid, and with a beautifully clipped commentary by Bernard Miles, the documentary looked at Moore’s inspiration and his working practise, and features a number of works in situ in his Perry Green studio, including some of his most beloved works, the Rocking Chair series, which are featured in Sotheby’s Modern & Post-War British Art on 12 June.
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