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Major LS Lowry collection goes under the hammer

An exceptional collection of works by LS Lowry goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s London on March 25.

The AJ Thompson collection includes well-known masterpieces that have previously been exhibited in the Tate’s highly acclaimed retrospective in 2013, amongst many other museum shows.

AJ Thompson – who only collected artworks by Lowry and no other artists – bought his first painting by the artist at Sotheby’s in 1982. His focus and extraordinary eye for the best compositions by Lowry enabled him, over the course of three decades, to put together one of the greatest collections of the artist’s work in recent history.

Encompassing some of the artist’s most iconic works – including the only two paintings of Piccadilly Circus that he ever produced, one of which stands as the highest priced work by the artist at auction with an estimated price tag of £4-6 million – the collection also reveals Thompson’s insight and rare instinct as a collector for this well-known but often misunderstood artist.

The collection is estimated to fetch in excess of £15 million.

Frances Christie, Sotheby’s Head of Modern & Post-War British Art Department, said: “It is a great honour to offer such a supreme group of paintings by L.S Lowry. Thompson was a collector who truly understood Lowry’s vision and he had a real instinct to home in on the very best examples of the artist’s work.

“As such there is a remarkable consistency of quality throughout the collection, which encompasses the very broad range of themes and subjects that Lowry explored so deftly.”

Speaking about Lowry, Frances Christie said: “The recent major exhibition at Tate curated by T.J Clark and Anne Wagner, Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life, 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 painted in the 20th Century. His work captured a fast-disappearing way of life in Britain, one that is more familiar in some of the world’s emerging economies today.”

A pre-sale exhibition will be held on March 20, 21, 23 & 25.

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Alasdair Whyte

Alasdair Whyte

Alasdair is a financial journalist writing about art. He has focused on high value asset finance since 1998. As well as Private Art Investor, he also edits Corporate Jet Investor (despite knowing very little about aircraft) and Helicopter Investor (ditto).