Wednesday, 17 July 2013

1924 - The Park

The Park 1924
Oil on Panel 
31 x 53.3 cm
Sold [June 2007] for £216,000 [Christies, London, King Street]
Signed and Dated 'L.S.LOWRY 1924' (lower left) and inscribed 'A Park' (on a label attached to the backboard)

with Lefevre Gallery, London.
Ian Dalrymple.
with Agnews, London, where purchased by the previous owner. 

Salford, City Art Gallery, L.S. Lowry Retrospective Exhibition, July - August 1951, no. 42.
Manchester, City Art Gallery, L.S. Lowry Retrospective Exhibition, June - July 1959, no. 13.
Sunderland, Arts Council, Sunderland Art Gallery, L.S.Lowry, August - September 1966, no. 11: this exhibition toured to Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, September - October 1966; Bristol, City Art Gallery, October - November 1966; and London, Tate Gallery, November 1966 - January 1967. 

Lowry found much to interest him in the urban park and he produced many paintings of the subject. In the present view groups of people congregate in the open space of the composition. Lowry contains them in two linear planes, kept distinct from one another by the broad strips of grass and a line of fencing. The path in the direct centre could be read as a means of escape, yet ironically, as it leads past an impromptu game of football on the left-hand side of the picture, it heads to the ever-present industrial backdrop, as though to serve as a reminder of the narrow division between work and recreation.

Lowry famously only used five colours of paint: flake white and ivory black, with vermillion, Prussian blue and ochre. In this early landscape, painted whilst he was attending drawing and painting classes at Salford School of Art, he has blended the colours to create a creamy green hue which pervades the whole picture, picked out with tiny flashes of red. The sky has darkly threatening clouds encroaching from all sides. As Lowry's landscapes developed he used more and more white, resulting in skies which were predominantly white, building the layers up with impasto.

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