Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Howzat? Lowry Set to Bowl over the Art World

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Howzat? Lowry Set to Bowl over the Art World

Article excerpt

CHILDREN playing cricket on wasteland in Broughton, Salford.

Their rubbish-strewn pitch is overshadowed by a run-down tenement building with cracked and boarded-up windows.

Plumes of smoke rise from chimneys indicating life despite the ramshackle state of the croft and buildings.

The image, A Cricket Match, was painted by L S Lowry in 1938.

The last time it appeared on the market was in 1996, when it set a then world record for a Lowry work, and was sold at auction for £282,000.

It was bought by Neil and Gina Smith - a reflection of their passion for the sport.

Neil grew up in Wilmslow and later lived in Stockport, before moving to America, where he met Gina. Before being acquired by the Smiths it had been sold in 1939 by Lowry's dealer the Lefevre Gallery and was kept in a private collection owned by a family from Newcastle upon Tyne.

On June 18, the work will be auctioned at Sotheby's, with an estimate of £800,000 to £1.2m.

But first the painting will be on show for five days at The Lowry arts centre at Salford Quays, from May 23-27.

The display locally will be just before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup, which will see six games hosted at Lancashire's Old Trafford ground, including a semi-final.

Simon Hucker, senior specialist in Modern & Post-War Art at Sotheby's, said: "This outstanding painting is in many ways a 'classic' Lowry - depicting the hard life of the industrial cities at the turn of the century - and yet the subject within the subject of a cricket match makes it truly rare within his oeuvre.

"Coinciding with the return of the Cricket World Cup to the UK presents a fantastic opportunity for collectors to acquire a different element of Lowry's world view.

"It is a really good Lowry. If feels like a natural scene, but it has all kinds of things going on, it leads your eye from one thing to another. It is really very complex, the way he controls colour, white, black, dirty green. …

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