Sotheby’s June sale of Modern and Post-War Contemporary British art will feature a LS Lowry painting, A Cricket Match that last sold 23 years ago at the auction house when it set a record for the artist. Then it sold for £282,000. This June 18 it will be offered with an estimate of £800,000 – 1,200,000. Here’s Sotheby’s release:
One of Britain’s best-loved artists, L.S. Lowry turned his paintbrush to cricket on no more than a handful of occasions. The painting will first be unveiled at The Lowry in Salford – not far from the Old Trafford Cricket Ground. The special five-day view at The Lowry precedes a glorious summer of cricket with the much-anticipated ICC Cricket World Cup, with major venues across England and Wales, including Old Trafford, set to host fixtures. A Cricket Match will then return to London for the pre-sale exhibition in New Bond Street from 14 – 17 June.
Lowry’s interest in sporting occasions was always about the spectacle and the crowds that even informal matches drew. Cricket, as much as football, was at the heart of Lancashire life in the 1930s and so it is surprising that the subject only makes a few appearances in Lowry’s oeuvre. Indeed, Lowry painted a formal cricket match just once. Here, the landscape could not be further removed from that of the hallowed turf at Old Trafford. Instead, the match plays out on an uneven waste ground, framed by a large dilapidated tenement building with broken and boarded up windows. Painted in an almost ghostly pale pink, the structure has an exquisitely haunting presence – a ghostly counterpoint to the grand Victorian pavilion at Old Trafford.
A Cricket Match comes from the collection of Neil and Gina Smith. Although based in America, where he met Gina, Neil was born and raised in Greater Manchester. Further paintings from their cherished collection, including works by John Constable and Pieter Brueghel the Younger, will be offered in our Old Master sales in London on 3 – 4 July. There will also be a dedicated, single-owner sale of their collection of fine English furniture and silver on 3 July.