Laurence Stephen Lowry R.A. (British, 1887-1976) The Lookers On 45.7 x 35.6 cm. (18 x 14 in.)

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Lot 11* AR
Laurence Stephen Lowry R.A.
(British, 1887-1976)
The Lookers On 45.7 x 35.6 cm. (18 x 14 in.)

£ 180,000 - 250,000
US$ 220,000 - 310,000
Laurence Stephen Lowry R.A. (British, 1887-1976)
The Lookers On
signed and dated 'L.S. Lowry 1965.' (lower left)
oil on canvas
45.7 x 35.6 cm. (18 x 14 in.)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    With Lefevre Gallery, London, 1967, where acquired by the family of the present owner
    Private Collection, Channel Islands

    Exhibited
    London, Lefevre Gallery, L.S. Lowry, 11 May-3 June 1967, cat.no.17

    Lowry is often discussed as the great people watcher, who observed and closely studied those around him, just as the 'lookers on' here carefully scrutinise the elderly figure who stands separate from them, isolated by Lowry's technically strategic division of a wall. The onlookers, who stare blankly out at the viewer, are bystanders, as Lowry considered himself to be. Indeed, even the isolated figure has her face turned towards us, creating the feeling that perhaps we are the ones being looked at.

    Yet, whilst there is a clear parallel to be drawn between Lowry and the onlookers, it is the isolation of the elderly figure that best reflects the artist's own persona. As he once said of his paintings: "they are ghostly figures which tenant these courts and laneways which seem to me so beautiful, they are symbols of my mood, they are myself." (Michael Howard, Lowry a Visionary Artist, Lowry Press, Salford, 2000, p.13)

    Michael Howard discusses Lowry's self-reflective, ghoulish, figures: '[they] are often masked by their disturbed and starving faces, as familiar in the fantastical imaginings of the Belgian artist James Ensor as they are in the paintings of Edvard Munch, which appear as masks of intolerable suffering. Technically, they are among the artist's most accomplished works, worthy of comparison with those artists of the eighteenth century he admired so much: Hogarth, Rowlandson and Gillray.' (Op.Cit, p.173)
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