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Book by Howard Michael Lowry Laurence Stephen
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I. S. Lowry, RA (1887-1976) is probably Britain's most popular artist. His pictures of Northern mills, and life in the industrial districts of Manchester and Salford, have a humanity and universal appeal that makes them accessible to and admired by all ages and generations.
Nevertheless, as Michael Howard's new monograph shows, the popular image of Lowry has tended to obscure both the strength and conviction of his vision, and his place within the modernist tradition. Lowry himself was a complex character, a man who kept his life and activities strictly compartmentalized. Until his death, he kept hidden from the art world the fact that he had worked all his life until retirement as a rent collector in some of the poorest areas of the Manchester conurbation - an activity that assuredly had profound effects on his art.
Michael Howard takes a completely fresh look at Lowry. It is possible now, over 20 years after his death, to dispel a number of the myths and sentimental stories that have grown around him - many of them encouraged or promulgated by the man himself - and to look afresh at the very real achievement of his art.
Michael Howard is a Senior Lecturer in the History of Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University.
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