Thursday, May 23, 2019

Rare Lowry "Cricket March" painting - on view for 5 days in Salford and London

If you want to view "A Cricket Match" by LS Lowry - you can view this privately owned work, at The Lowry arts centre until 5pm on Monday (27 May) in their free LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist exhibition.

This rare painting - LS Lowry didn't paint many paintings to do with cricket - has gone on display in Salford ahead of its auction next month at Sotheby’s. Which means those of us who live in London can view it at the pre-sale preview exhibition at Sotheby's in June. (see details of times and dates below)

Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. 1887-1976
A CRICKET MATCH
signed and dated 1938 |  oil on canvas  |  46 by 61cm.; 18 by 24in.
So basically if you're 'up north' you have until the end of the Bank Holiday weekend to see this painting.

Here's a very informative video with Claire Stuart, Curator of the Lowry Museum plus the Lady from Sotheby's telling you a bit more about it - if like me you're unable to get to the Lowry Museum.




A Cricket Match is a wonderful example of Lowry at his very best, in what is arguably his best decade as an artist, the 1930s, where he fully establishes the rules and parameters of his unique vision. It seems at first-glance to be a simple ‘slice of life’ and yet the painting is constructed very carefully, in both the way the narrative unfolds and also in how it releases its emotion. As ever, Lowry restricts his palette to a range of colours so narrow that Mondrian would no doubt approve: the dominant white; outlines in black; a dirty green and sooty blue to pin the work to the ground and to give it its sombre timbre. It is this blue-green that also frames the picture, drawing our eye into it, across the dirty standing water and snaggletooth fence posts in the foreground and through to the ramshackle sheds in the middle ground. To this Lowry adds a few dots of red, in a scarf or a hat: another favourite trick to draw the eye in a zig zag through the composition, to ensure the viewer looks everywhere and experiences it as a whole.
It is in the 1930s that Lowry’s masterful use of white really comes to the fore. It has both a painterly function – allowing him to give a clarity to his figures and buildings, which in turn enhances their phenomenological solidity – as well as an emotive quality, as it brings a hard, brittle coldness to his work, whatever the season, that in the viewer’s mind translates into an understanding of the hardship of the world he is painting. It has a conceptual aspect, too, as it is the white that makes this Lowry’s world, something that has its root in a hard reality but also seems to exist in of itself.Sotheby's Auction - Catalogue Note

Exhibition details


The Lowry says it's only been on public display twice before
  • once in 1939 when Lowry chose to include it in an exhibition in London
  • briefly in 1996 at Sotheby’s as part of a pre-auction display when it set the then world record for a Lowry painting of £282,000.
When A Cricket Match last appeared at auction in June 1996, it sold for a then world record price for a painting by Lowry, prompting a plethora of cricket-inspired puns from the newspapers, both national and local to the artist’s home town of Manchester: ‘Lowry scores a record price’, ‘Cricket oil hits artist’s price for six’, ‘Painting a big hit’ etc.  Catalogue note

On display in the exhibition at the Lowry

To be auctioned by Sotheby's 


The work will be auctioned on 18 June by Sotheby’s. It's estimated it could fetch up to £1.2 million.
This exceptional painting is both a ‘classic’ Lowry, depicting the hard life of the industrial cities at the turn of the 20th century, and also quite rare in its depiction of a cricket match, even though cricket has always been very much part of Manchester life.  Simon Hucker, senior specialist for modern and post-war British art at Sotheby’s
See
The exhibition dates and times are as follows
  • Friday 14 June 9am - 5pm 
  • Saturday 15 June 12pm - 5pm 
  • Sunday 16 June 1pm - 5pm 
  • Monday17 June 9am - 5pm 
  • Tuesday18 June 9am - 4pm 

Mrs Lowry & Son

Timothy Spall as LS Lowry in Mrs Lowry & Son

The display of the painting comes ahead of the release of a feature film this summer about the artist starring Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave. Mrs Lowry & Son depicts the relationship between Lowry (Spall) and his mother Elizabeth (Redgrave) with whom he lived until her death.

The film is directed by Adrian Noble, the former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and made by production company Genesius Pictures.
Timothy Spall's recent weight loss makes him uncannily like Lowry. Spall was JMW Turner of course in a previous acting incarnation!
"We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to share this work with our visitors. With the release of Mrs Lowry & Son this summer there’s a real buzz at the moment about his story and his journey as an artist and it’s great to have the chance to display a work few people will have seen before.” Claire Stewart, curator of The Lowry Collection

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