Mnuchin Gallery and Berry Campbell are pleased to announce Lynne Drexler: The First Decade, the first solo exhibition of Lynne Drexler (1928–1999) in New York in thirty-eight years. This joint exhibition features a curated selection of paintings and works on paper spanning from 1959 to 1969, including works on loan from public and private collections, along with works never-before seen directly from the Estate of Lynne Drexler.
Lynne Drexler: The First Decade will be exhibited in two chronological sections: Mnuchin Gallery will feature paintings from 1959 to 1964 and Berry Campbell will feature paintings from 1965 to 1969. Both exhibitions open October 27, 2022 and continue through December 17, 2022. The galleries will have simultaneous opening receptions on Thursday, October 27, 2022 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A member of the second-generation of Abstract Expressionist artists, Drexler created a daring and innovative style by incorporating the theories of her teachers, Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell, with personal reflections from nature and art historical influences such as Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Fauvism. In 1956, Drexler moved to New York and enrolled at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, where she took classes from Hofmann and later Robert Motherwell at Hunter College. Inspired by Hofmann’s theory of “push-pull,” the dynamic relationships of color became the dominant force in Drexler’s art, as she began to understand painting in terms of color, space, and form. Motherwell’s process-oriented approach to art and his philosophy of personal invention helped to free Drexler from the rigid tenets of Abstract Expressionism, and by 1959, Drexler developed her signature brushwork: swatch-like strokes in dense clusters, which allow color—not geometry—to triumph. The works from 1959 to 1969 reveal an artist who was unafraid: she ventured outside of Abstract Expressionism and continued to explore the impacts of color and gesture when the art world had moved on to Pop and Minimalism. Beginning in 1959, color and Drexler’s inventive patch-like brushwork become the object, with the natural world serving as her inspiration.
Despite her lack of acknowledgement from the art world, Drexler continued to paint her singular modernist paintings her entire life in New York City and on Monhegan Island, Maine. In collaboration, Sukanya Rajaratnam, Partner at Mnuchin, and Christine Berry and Martha Campbell, co-owners of Berry Campbell, came together to bring recognition to a woman artist, who was overlooked by the art historical canon. The shared mission of this project is to bring to light Drexler’s significant contributions and rebuild the legacy that she long deserves.
Another important component to this exhibition is to provide scholarship on Lynne Drexler. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a 7,500 word essay by Gail Levin, Ph.D., known for her comprehensive biographies on Judy Chicago and Lee Krasner. The catalogue essay gives a full account of Drexler’s life and puts her art in context in the 1950s and 1960s New York art scene. Lois Dodd, one of the founding members of Tanager Gallery, has written a brief remembrance, along with Jamie Wyeth, fellow artist and resident of Monhegan Island. Gail Levin writes: “Imagine a story of an artist who escaped from an art world rife with competition and her struggle to find herself, landing on an enchanted island, where she lived happily ever after, painting, though forgotten, for the rest of her life… After her death in 1999, her paintings got discovered and collectors now compete to own them. This is the unlikely story of Lynne Drexler, a woman artist whose colorful and engaging pictures speak for themselves, though they don’t necessarily reveal the drama of her life.”
Mnuchin Gallery is located at 45 E 78th Street, New York, NY, 10075. Gallery Hours are Tuesday -Saturday, 10.am–6 p.m. or by appointment. firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.861.0020
Berry Campbell is located at 524 W 26th Street, New York, NY, 10001.Gallery Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m–6 p.m. or by appointment. email@example.com or 212.924.2178