The artist was born in Heaton Norris near Stockport, Cheshire, leaving school at fourteen to become an apprentice decorator. After Army service in WWII, he studied painting at Stockport College in the evenings until about 1948, and for some years painted ordinary street scenes and entertainments in bright colours, depicting the lives of working men and women and their environs in naive style. In the late 1940s he took up painting full-time.
Lowndes first came to Cornwall in 1954 and lived in several locations including Tremedda, at Zennor, returning periodically to Stockport before purchasing a house in St Ives in 1959. He and his family lived in the Digey, and then moved to nearby Halsetown in 1964, remaining there until 1970 when he moved on to Gloucestershire.
Lowndes has been likened in style to the more famous Lowry, in choosing unassuming local subjects direct from life wherever he lived (ie local Cornish fishermen), although Terry FROST contended that Lowndes surpassed him in greatness and scope. From 1970 he and his family lived in Upper Cam, Gloucestershire. Nevertheless, he returned frequently to Cornwall before his death in Gloucester.
His biography has been written by Jonathan Riley (published by Construction Arts Ltd and the Crane Kalman Gallery) to coincide with a major Retrospective exhibition of his work at the Stockport Museum and Art Gallery (February 10 - May 31 2010) and in London at the Crane Kalman Gallery (June 22-July 31, 2010).
Painter in oils
works and access
Likenesses of the Artist: Self Portrait (1964)
Works include: Nude Study 1952; Porthmeor Beach (1964); Fishing Boat (1966) at Cornwall Council; Boat & fish (1961), The Harbour Master's Office (1964), Boats in Harbour (1956), and Rosewall Hill, winter (1969) all 4 shown at golden age show in 2008.
One man shows: Crane Gallery, Manchester; Crane Kalman, London; Osborn Gallery, New York
Stockport Art Gallery (and Tour) Retrospective 1972
Penwith Galleries, St Ives (solo) 1979
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol (Solo) Retrospective 1980
Royal West of England Academy, Bristol (Selected) 'Artists from Cornwall' 1992;
Great Atlantic Arwenack Street Gallery 2008: 'the golden age of cornish art'
Crane Kalman, London Retrospective 1995, 2010
Buckman (2006) Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945
Davies (1994) St Ives Revisited - innovators and followers
Great Atlantic Publications & Clark Art Ltd (2008) the golden age of cornish art
Paisnel Gallery (2009) Post-War and St Ives (Exhibition catalogue No 14, Nov)
Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & IOS, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership;
Riley (2010) Alan Lowndes (Exhibition catalogue)
RWE (1992) Artists from Cornwall Exh cat
Stockport Gallery (1972) Alan Lowndes Paintings 1948-1972 (Exhibition catalogue, illus)
Tate (1985) St Ives 1939-64 Twenty Five Years of Painting, Sculpture and Pottery (Exhibition catalogue, photo p130)