One artist famous for painting Urban Landscapes is L.S. Lowry, who is widely known for painting industrial districts of Northern England during the early 19th Century. This artist is characterised by his distinctive style of painting, often including small human figurines referred to as ‘matchstick men’. As Lowry has such a distinctive, simplistic style throughout his work, it’s often addressed as ‘naïve’ and ‘almost childish’. However, if you look closer at some of his work, rather than it being dull as some people may originally think, it does become more detailed than it may have initially appeared. This is the key to Lowry’s work as the more you focus in to it, the more is steadily revealed to you. Lowry’s work is captivating in that he manages to recreate such a busy landscape with such simplicity.
Illustration 1 – ‘North Leach Church’
North Leach Church shown in illustration one is traditional Oil on Canvas. This painting is not what most people would expect him to portray as subject matter. Unlike his other paintings, this piece shows no human figures and the scene is a small churchyard in the Cotswolds. However, the contrast between the main image itself and the background is a traditional aspect of Lowry’s work. This contrast would be between the almost solid church and the one-dimensional bright white gravestones, combined with basic background. This is always a prominent aspect in all of Lowry’s work – having a plain, colourless background in order to draw to you the main image, emphasising the vocal point of the painting. It affects his work, and in particular this piece, as it gives his work a dull, monotonous feel, despite this being well accommodated in this painting as its set in a graveyard. Although this is a traditional view, it also incorporates some features of an abstract painting. A picture is abstract when elements of form, such as the gravestones and the path are prominent within the piece. Due to the emphasis on the simplistic shapes, the gravestones and straight path, you are able to establish why his work is often considered childish. As Lowry chooses to paint in such a simple style, it would suggest that he had no formal training in the art. I saw this piece by Lowry in...