Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Lowry's Deptford Painting

The L.S. Lowry exhibition at Tate Britain closes on October 20th. I took my mum and we tried to find the original of the print we had in our 1970s front room like so many other people at that time - but to be honest a lot of the pictures were very similar and we couldn't be sure which one it was! I remember being lambasted in the pub by a left wing Labour Party activist when I was a teenage young socialist and he put me on the spot about what art I liked. Frankly I could hardly name an artist at the time, so I meekly mentioned Lowry (well we had one in our house!). He jumped down my throat telling me that 'Lowry was so anti working class'. It was one of those classic 'middle class lefty would be saviour of the working class sneering at the taste of working class people' moments. I remembered all this when I saw that Tate had managed to get Marxist/sometime Situationist art historian  T J Clark to co-curate the exhibition and redeem Lowry's critical reputation - whether he succeeded or not I'm not sure. Said Labour activist turned out to be right that I should check out Picasso anyway.

Most of Lowry's pictures are famously of the north of England, but in 1959 he painted a view of Deptford Power Station from Greenwich. It is in the National Maritime Museum collection and isn't featured at Tate.

Deptford Power Station photographed in 1973 - it was demolished in 1992. The Millennium Quay housing development now stands on that site.

1 comment:


Great anecdote! Thanks