Today is Lowry's 125th birthday. I like Lowry. I think he's up there with the best artists of the 20th century. Jonathan Jones had a grudging piece about him in the Guardian this morning and people reacted by throwing shoes at it and quite right too. Lowry painted subjects that had hardly been tackled before in a style that was utterly distinctive- and if that doesn't make him a major artist I don't suppose I know what a major artist is. The bleak northern landscapes are what he's best known for but he did other things as well- portraits for instance and seascapes and weird fetishistic drawings (that he kept to himself) of girls in bondage gear. To see him in bulk- as you can at the Museum named after him in Salford is a crushing experience- but in a good way. They have a big canvas there called The Cripples which is one of the horridest things I know.