The sunshine and architecture of Greece and Sicily has brought new brilliance to Alex Lowery’s most recent paintings both of Ydra and Ortigia as well as his more northerly and well-known locations in Portland, West Bay and Orkney. Compositions of roofs and different planes of light set the current moment against the timeless wonders of sea, sky and mountain. Alex is a painter whose sense of colour and ability to combine unusual angles consistently surprises and refreshes the eye. Often linked to the work of Edward Hopper, Alex Lowery’s wide and deep knowledge of art history feed into his own highly original sensibility.
In his confident, thrilling paintings of West Bay and Portland, he has long been a master at transforming the local and everyday into something universal and heart-stopping.
We are lucky enough to represent Alex Lowery, organising commissions where applicable. Unless otherwise stated, Alex Lowery’s canvases are presented and hung unframed tight against the wall.
Large-scale charcoal drawings and studies in gouache have influenced the way he is painting, bringing a looser more fluid style. Areas of greater detail than we have seen before contrast with intense planes of colour and texture, the paint varying from translucent to opaque, as the raking light shifts the shadows and lights up unexpected angles.
When he is not painting, Alex is an accomplished pianist and his musicality shines through in his paintings. He talks of chromatic harmonies, of ‘treating colours like chords’ and ‘shifting the harmonies around.’ The eye-catching forms and colours he uses in the paintings are actually observable in nature although often our minds seem to edit them out. It takes looking at Alex Lowery’s paintings sometimes to make one recognise what has been there all along. He works consciously with degrees of illusion, finding the balance between spontaneous free invention and the alchemy of his process that distills his subject matter into the essence of itself. It takes bravery and constant reinvention, playfulness and discipline to make these paintings because ‘doing art is an act of faith in itself.’
Born 1957 in London, Alex Lowery studied at Bath Academy, Sir John Cass School of Art and the Central School of Art in London. He has painted and shown regularly in Dorset and London since 1994. He exhibitied for many years with Art First in London and has shown at the Estorick Collection and at Browse and Darby. His work is in many distinguished private collections as well as the Dorset County Hospital Art Collection, Great Ormond Street Hospital, St George’s Hospital Tooting and the Fidelity International Art Collection. He lives in Charmouth with the artist Vanessa Gardiner.
Solo shows at Sladers Yard 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024.
PICTURING, CAST OF LIGHT and LAND USE, 16-page booklets of Alex Lowery’s recent solo shows at Sladers Yard, are each available from the gallery at £5 plus p&p.