British painter of industrial and urban landscapes.
Lowry's father was an estate agent in Manchester but in 1909 the family moved to an industrial part of Salford. Lowry had private lessons in painting and studied intermittently at art schools in Manchester and Salford between 1905 and 1925. The personal style that he developed around the end of World War I remained essentially the same throughout his life. Against backgrounds of factories, chimneys, and streets melting into the white haze characteristic of industrial cities in Lancashire, Lowry painted groups of small dark busily moving figures. He also painted a number of deserted landscapes and seascapes.
The popularity of his apparently naive pictures grew following his first London exhibition in 1939, but the importance of his work was underrated until the mid 1960s. Lowry's work has no niche in the development of twentieth-century painting and the diversity of opinion about his artistic stature was highlighted during the large retrospective exhibition of his paintings at the Royal Academy in 1976.
Subjects: art — history.