One of the most eagerly awaited exhibitions of the year opens at Tate Modern later this month - Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life. This show will be the first of its kind to be held by a national public institution since the artist’s death in 1976.
Focusing on the best of Lowry’s urban scenes and industrial landscapes including Tate’s Coming Out of School 1927 and The Pond 1950 alongside significant loans, this timely and carefully selected exhibition aims to re-assess Lowry’s contribution to art history and to argue for his achievement as Britain’s pre-eminent painter of the industrial city.
As a modern painter Lowry wished to show what the industrial revolution had made of the world, yet his dominant status in British art coincided with a disappearance of the industrialised world he engaged with. The exhibition’s final room presents for the first time all eight of his less well known, late industrial panoramas, where a leap up to ‘history painting’ size indicates the measure of his final ambition. These large panoramic landscapes fall into two groups: the first, from the 1950s, are titled, with intentional generality, Industrial Landscapes. The second, less well known group was painted in the 1960s in the mining valleys of South Wales, the heartland of the Labour movement. In both the tone is valedictory.
Exhibition dates: 26 June to 20 October 2013. The Tate is expecting this to be very popular, so advance booking is recommended.