The British actor is a passionate art lover and he is convinced Tate chiefs need to display a collection of works by the artist, famed for painting industrial Britain, which are currently kept in private at the gallery.
McKellen is adamant that if Tate officials don’t plan to make the paintings available to the public, they should give them away to another gallery which will.
He says, “Why should it matter that the Tate Gallery in London (with its 23 Lowrys) has chosen not to display any of them for many years?
“His popularity needs no official endorsement from the Tate but it is a shame verging on the iniquitous that foreign visitors to London shouldn’t have access to the painter English people like more than most others…
“If the Tate feels no responsibility to give the art-viewing public their favourite painters to view, perhaps they could let their stash go elsewhere, pass them on to a gallery like The Lowry (in Salford, north England), who share their visitors’ tastes.”
McKellen feels so passionate about the subject he has made a TV documentary, called Looking for Lowry, which will be broadcast in the U.K. on Sunday (24Apr11). It is set to feature an unlikely contributor – former Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher.