Artist Trivia: Lynne Drexler

Lynne Drexler, Saha, 1959, Oil on canvas, Gift from the estate of the artist, 2002.4

Who is this artist: 

This artist was born in Kewanee, Illinois, and began painting in high school. Initially, planning to study architecture with Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the artist instead earned a BFA in 1956 from the School of Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Working as an illustrator in New York City, they experimented with photography before turning their full attention to painting in 1966, working from photographs and sketches to create “photo-realist” This artist was born in Newport News, Virginia in 1928. They spent their childhood in Virginia and later studied at the College of William & Mary. It was in Williamsburg that this artist met a Maine artist, Thomas Elston Thorne, who encouraged them to paint. This painter also met a modernist architect, Ward Bennett, who had studied with Hans Hoffman. He encouraged this artist to move to NYC which they did in 1956 and enrolled in Hoffman’s art school. This painter was inspired by Hoffman’s theory of ‘push-pull’, a dynamic color relationship which would become the dominant force in their art. Additionally, Hoffman imparted understanding painting in terms of color, space and form. This painter then studied with Robert Motherwell at Hunter College in NYC where he taught a ‘process oriented’ approach to art. By 1959, this painter established their distinctive brushwork which was executed in swatch like strokes in dense clusters which allowed color, not geometry to soar. This painter was part of a dynamic art scene in Greenwich village and had their first solo show in 1961at Tanager Gallery. This artist met their partner at a Halloween party this same year. This person was also an artist and was represented by Martha Jackson, who first introduced the couple to Monhegan Island. They spent summers there until 1983 when the couple decided to move fulltime to the island which would become so influential to this painter. This painter would have been 94 on May 21.

The Artist is Lynne Mapp Drexler

Lynne Mapp Drexler studied with Hans Hoffman and Robert Motherwell in New York City in the late 1950s. She was part of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists including Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Larry Rivers. Drexler turned to the outside world rather than to her inner self for inspiration.  In doing so, she incorporated aspects of Impressionism and Post Impressionism into her vivid and innovative paintings. An Artnews reviewer wrote  ‘Drexler shows medium and outsized pastoral, florid, bleeding edge canvasses that are built up with swatches of tones that seem like so many technicolor galaxies’.

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