Monday, 25 October 2010

The Loneliness of Lowry

Had I not been lonely none of my works would have happened.

I caught the current exhibition at the Abbot Hall called ‘The Loneliness of Lowry’ just a week before it closes. It occupies only three rooms of the gallery (and the choice for one of the other upstairs rooms rather spoils the atmosphere that the Lowrys promote) but manages to produce a very pronounced impression through its fairly narrow focus: some people, country and industrial landscapes, and seascapes.

The key impression is the way the tone or mood verges content (an isolated house in an urban setting becomes a lonely house) with style. This is a Lowry merging with abstract or conceptual art.
Two other minor contingent things struck me (ie not essential to the exhibition itself) as I left.
  1. The rooms carried only minimal overviews with few descriptions of individual pictures. Such is the lure of text I often spend nearly as much time reading as looking in galleries these days.
  2. One of the pleasures of seeing Lowry in the Abbot Hall rather than its proper home in the Lowry Centre in Salford is that the latter, dramatic building in orange and purple though it is, seems to have nothing in common with its subject.