Lowry, Laurence Stephen (1887-1976) , painter; educated at Victoria Park School, Manchester; began work with firm of accountants, 1905; attended evening classes at Manchester Municipal College of Art, 1905-15 and at Salford School of Art, 1915-20; rent-collector and clerk with Pall Mall Property Co. in Manchester, 1910-52, kept job a closely guarded secret; many pictures painted by artificial light at night, hence the absence of shadows; his imagination haunted by the Stockport Viaduct and other industrial scenes; Manchester City Art Gallery purchased (1930) An Accident (1926); elected to Royal Society of British Artists, 1934; his work discovered by art-dealer A. J. McNeil Reid of Lefevre Gallery, London, 1938; first one-man exhibition, 1939; hon. MA, 1945 and LL D, 1961, Manchester University; ARA, 1955; RA, 1962; received freedom of City of Salford, 1965; GPO issued stamp reproducing one of his industrial scenes, 1967; main collection of his work owned by City Art Gallery, Salford, including self-portrait (1925) and The Cripples (1949).
Lowry, L. S. (Laurence Stephen) (1887-1976) . British painter. He lived all his life in or near Manchester (mainly in Salford) and worked as a rent collector and clerk for a property company until he retired in 1952. His painting was done mainly at night after his day’s work, but he was not a * naive painter, having studied intermittently at art schools from 1905 to 1925. It was during this period that he evolved the type of picture for which he is best known, featuring firmly drawn backgrounds of industrial buildings bathed in a white haze, against which groups or crowds of figures, painted in his characteristic stick-like manner, move about their affairs isolated in an intensely individual, personal life. His pictures embodied a consistent but disquieting vision, revealing a sense of alienation and man’s inconsequence against the juggernaut of industrialism; he was a solitary character and said: `Had I not been lonely I should not have seen what I did.’ Although he achieved national recognition with an exhibition at the Reid and Lefevre Gallery in London in 1939, he remained an elusive and underrated figure until the large retrospective exhibition arranged by the Arts Council in 1966. Ten years later, in the year he died, a comprehensive retrospective exhibition of his work at the Royal Academy brought considerable divergence of opinion among critics. Some thought of him as a great artist with an important original vision. Others represented him as a very minor talent, although interesting as a social commentator. Lowry’s work is in many British collections, including the Tate Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery, and Salford Museum and Art Gallery.