Newmarket: Jockey Club hosts preview of £15million LS Lowry collection

LS Lowry   Photo: lowry.co.uk LS Lowry Photo: lowry.co.uk

Monday, March 3, 2014
1:47 PM

A stunning selection of paintings by renowned artist LS Lowry will be on show in west Suffolk next week, as the county gets a sneak preview of work set to fetch a combined total of more than £15million.

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Newmarket’s Jockey Club will host a public exhibition of works from the AJ Thompson Collection, widely regarded as the best collection of the artist’s work assembled in recent memory.

The collection features 15 works, including Lowry’s only two portrayals of Piccadilly Circus – one of which is his most expensive work of all time, having already sold at auction for £5.64m in 2011.

Thompson, a self-made millionaire, kept the pictures at his home in Suffolk, occasionally lending them out to the Lowry gallery in Manchester.

Tuesday’s show aims to generate interest in Sotheby’s sale on March 25 in London, when all 15 works will go under the hammer.

“It is a great honour to offer such a supreme group of paintings by LS Lowry,” said Frances Christie, head of Sotheby’s modern & post-war British art department.

“Thompson was a collector who truly understood Lowry’s vision, and he had a real instinct to hone in on the very best examples of the artist’s work.”

Manchester-born Lowry is one of the most widely respected painters of modern times, most famous for painting scenes of the industrial districts of north west England during the middle of the 20th Century.

The Lowry art gallery was opened at Salford Quays in 2000, while a statue of Lowry was unveiled in Mottram in 2005, 100 yards away from his home between 1948 and his death in 1976.

The collection includes well-known masterpieces that have previously been exhibited in the Tate’s highly acclaimed retrospective last year, among many other museum shows.

Mr Christie added: “The recent major exhibition at the Tate helped to reposition the artist within a much wider artistic context, dispelling popular assumptions that he only depicted a very simplified view of England.

“In fact, he was a fantastically accomplished artist who turned his remarkable skills of observation and representation to creating some of the most complex and visually compelling images of modern life.”

The public viewing takes place in the Coffee Room at The Jockey Club on Tuesday, from 2-5pm.

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