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    Sale 7637

    20th Century British Art

    12 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 118

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)

    A Removal

    Price Realised  


    Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)
    A Removal
    signed and dated 'L.S. LOWRY 1928' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    17 x 21 in. (43.2 x 53.3 cm.)

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    In terms of Lowry's oeuvre, this painting provides us with a rare glimpse of the artist portraying the more disagreeable element of his work as a rent collector for the Pall Mall Property Company. Although the title suggests otherwise, there seems to be an eviction taking place with the removal of furniture onto the street causing a degree of commotion, a scene which Lowry would have often witnessed.

    The painting was included in an exhibition with Roland Thomasson and Tom E. Brown on Mosley Street in 1921, producing Lowry's first sale and a favourable review in the Manchester Guardian by Bernard Taylor. Thus Michael Howard described this as 'an important landmark in Lowry's career', and one that 'marked his coming of age as an artist (loc. cit.).

    In conversation with Andras Kalman whilst observing A Removal, the art critic David Sylvester remarked, 'that is one of the best pictures I have ever seen'. The painting displays many of Lowry's finest attributes as a painter. His ability to expose the humility and bleakness of domestic life in industrial Salford and Pendlebury is achieved through a variety of means. The repetition of the terraced houses and the creamy grey-white colour that envelops the factory and houses in the background creates a sense of the mundane. This in turn enhances the feeling of disruption caused by the removal of furniture through the garden and onto the street, where a party of figures engage in discussion.

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    with Lefevre Gallery, London.
    Mrs. Margesson.
    with Crane Kalman Gallery, London.
    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 8 November 1989, lot 176 (£85,800).


    M. Howard, Lowry A Visionary Artist, Salford, 2000, pp. 26-7, illustrated.
    A. Kalman and A. Lambirth, L.S. Lowry Conversation Pieces, London, 2003, pp. 52-3, illustrated.


    Manchester, Academy of Fine Arts, 1934 (£30).
    London, Crane Kalman Gallery, L.S. Lowry A Collection of Masterpieces, June - August 1994, catalogue not traced.
    Salford, The Lowry, Conversation Pieces, July - October 2005.
    Liverpool, Tate Gallery, Lowry in Liverpool, October 2006 - April 2007, not numbered.