Hale art gallery acquires Stockport artist Alan Lowndes painting in record deal

Clark Art Ltd has paid a record price for a painting by Stockport artist Alan Lowndes

A world record price of �30,000 has been established for a painting by celebrated Stockport-born artist Alan Lowndes.

The buyer of Lowndes’s ‘Beach Scene’ is Bill Clark of Clark Art Ltd of Ashley Road, Hale, Cheshire, who is staging an exhibition of renowned Northern artists featuring L.S. Lowry and Alan Lowndes.

Grand Auctions, a new auction house in Kent, established the record price for Beach Scene, (oil on board, 32 x 48 inches). It was painted in 1964 and extensively exhibited across the UK over the past 45 years, including at The Tate Gallery. The previous record of �29,000 was held by Sothebys of London.

Bill Clark said Alan Lowndes is one of his favourite northern artists: ‘Lowndes’s work is quite scarce since he was not as prolific as some so when I heard this painting was available I was very excited. Its large size sets it apart and also the fact that it is a beach scene gives it a very wide appeal.

‘Lowndes and Lowry were very much from the same stable, they shared the same dealer for example, and when you consider that the record for a Lowry is �3.7 million, you can appreciate why Alan Lowndes is so much in demand,’ he added. Clark Art specialise in northern art and always have works by Alan Lowndes in stock, which can be viewed on their website www.clark-art.co.uk.

Alan Lowndes was born in 1921 in Stockport, the fourth child of a railway clerk. He left school at 14, apprenticed to a decorator, but after active service in the Second World War, Lowndes developed his love of painting around Stockport and Manchester. He depicted street scenes and Northerners going about their daily business or enjoying their pleasures in the chip shop or pub. He later moved to Cornwall and added Cornish seascapes and local people to his repertoire. Finally the family moved to Gloucestershire until his death in 1978.

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Establishing a world record for a Lowndes painting has special significance for Jonathan Riley, the paintings specialist at Grand Auctions. Jonathan published a biography of the artist in 2010 and is the leading expert on his work.

Jonathan said: ‘Lowndes has a wide body of collectors and his paintings are now much sought after. There was considerable interest in this painting and we had high hopes of establishing a new record, which we are delighted to have achieved. Beach Scene has been extensively exhibited and kept by the family in their private collections. The vendor acquired the painting some years ago directly from the family.

‘In 1964 the Lowndes family moved from St Ives to the small village of Halestown after he had enjoyed successful exhibitions. 1964 was a very productive year for Lowndes, completing some 40 canvases, including ‘Beach Scene’. This painting shows all the compositional qualities of Lowndes at his very best,’ he said.

Bill Clark also purchased another painting by Alan Lowndes at the Grand Auctions sale – ‘Cat Confrontation’ (oil on board, 12 inches x 9 inches) was sold for �4,800. 

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