Tuesday 22 September 2015

Review of Lowry by the Sea at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

Lowry by the Sea
Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
11 June – 1 November 2015

Mention LS Lowry (1887-1976) and most people will picture grim, industrial cityscapes from Britain’s north-west, with smoke-belching factories; men bent nearly double, hastening along crowded pavements; grey drizzle; and children playing in the street. But Lowry was as inspired by the coast as he was the city. “Some people like to go to the theatre,” he once said, “some like to watch television. I just like watching ships.” But it was more than that which attracted the solitary artist to the open expanse of the North Sea. “It’s the battle of life – the turbulence of the sea. I have been fond of the sea all my life, how wonderful it is, yet how terrible it is. […] It’s all there. It’s all in the sea. The Battle of Life is there. And Fate. And the inevitability of it all. And the purpose.”

As part of the Jerwood Gallery’s Festival of the Sea, a small gem of an exhibition comprising 17 pictures – oils on canvas and board; watercolour; felt tip and pencil drawings – showcases Lowry’s intense relationship with the ocean. Spread across two small, dark rooms – which echo the mood of the works – visitors gain not just an overview of an aspect of the artist’s work that is usually overlooked, but also an intimate insight into his character, thoughts and self-perception.

Read the full review here

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