Lowry’s Lamps: In Conversation with Writer Richard Mayson

Join us today for a conversation between Mike Goldmark and Richard Mayson, author of the new book on L.S. Lowry, Lowry’s Lamps.

Laurence Stephen Lowry RBA RA is mostly thought about in terms of his people and their industrial setting but there is a great deal more to be read from the detail of his paintings. Throughout his artistic career, Lowry used street furniture to brilliant effect. He was a master of observation and composition. Lamp-posts, telegraph poles, flag poles, fences (and sometimes just vertical posts with no apparent use) form an important part of Lowry’s busy industrial scenes. As his work developed, lamps became a subject in their own right and became the focus of some of his later quiet, solitary works. The evidence of Lowry’s careful thought about lamps and lamp posts is evident in his response to young artists asking for career advice as well as it is in the painting: ‘no need to go to London to become a famous painter. You won’t find better lamp-posts there.’ This book examines an important aspect of Lowry’s art for the first time. It is written by Richard Mayson who was brought up in Lowry’s home-village of Mottram-in-Longdendale. Mayson has a life-long passion for street lamps and street furniture. Taking some of Lowry’s best-known works as a reference, this book highlights Lowry’s use of lamps and street furniture in his handling of composition, perspective and colour. The expression of solitude, an aspect of Lowry’s life and often conveyed in his later work, is also considered. He also compares the treatment of street furniture in Lowry’s paintings with the reality of Salford and Manchester streets from 1916 to the 1970s illustrating how Lowry’s work evolved. Previously unseen works in private collections will be reproduced in this book for the first time.

 
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