Laurence Stephen Lowry RA (1887-1976) is one of the most celebrated and beloved British artists of all time. This two room display celebrates Lowry’s unique contribution to 20th Century British art, bringing together a selection of his lesser known paintings and drawings of the sea.
From Britons at play on the sands of holiday resorts, to giant tankers in the great ports of the nation, Lowry painted the sea in many different forms, and this display brings together a wide variety of these exciting works.
For Lowry, the sea’s unpredictable nature made it a perfect metaphor for what he called 'the battle of life', and was a subject that he returned to throughout his career. He was fascinated by the sea, and spoke of ‘the vastness of it and the terribleness of it…I often wonder what would happen if the tide didn’t turn, and the sea came on and on and on and on, what would the place be like, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to see it.’
One of the most revealing and moving works in the exhibition is Self Portrait as a Pillar in the Sea, 1966. This small painting depicts a single black column in a vast ocean, allowing an insight into Lowry’s view of life and himself.
This exhibition has been made possible by generous loans from The Lowry Collection, Salford, and The Arts Council Collection.
Lowry by the Sea is part of the gallery's summer Festival of the Sea.