L S Lowry

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Laurence Stephen Lowry (1 November 1887 – 23 February 1976) is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of North West England in the mid-20th century. Many of his drawings and paintings depict Pendlebury, Lancashire, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years, and also Salford and its surrounding areas.

He developed a distinctive style of painting urban landscapes peopled with human figures often referred to as “matchstick men”. He painted mysterious unpopulated landscapes, brooding portraits and the unpublished “marionette” works, which were only found after his death.

Going to Work

The Derelict House

De Chirico

Giorgio de Chirico (1888 – 1978) was an Italian artist and writer. In the years before World War I, he founded the scuola metafisica art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists. After 1919, he became interested in traditional painting techniques, and worked in a neoclassical or neo-Baroque style, while frequently revisiting the metaphysical themes of his earlier work.

He is most famous for the eerie mood and strange artificiality of the cityscapes he painted in the 1910s. His style is characterised by haunting empty streets with multiple vanishing points, shadows and size contrasts that do not make sense. These contradictions become dreamlike/nightmarish because they conflict with the otherwise classical style – things look ‘normal’ but aren’t.

Sources

Holzhey, M. Georgio De Chirico: The Modern Myth, Koln, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Tokyo, Taschen.

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