This week’s focus artist is Abstract Expressionist Lynne Drexler. Lynne Drexler was born and raised in the Newport News Virginia area where she began painting as a young child. She took art classes at both the Richmond Professional Institute and the College of William and Mary.
In the late 1950’s Drexler moved to New York City to further her art studies under Robert Motherwell and Hans Hofmann (two of the most influential painters in American history). Motherwell taught her composition and draftsmanship techniques as well as the idea that “to be an artist meant first and foremost that one had to create work worthy of attention”. Drexler had a tendency to create vibrant paintings using a free brush stroke which was influenced by Hofmann and the work of Henri Matisse.
Drexler spent the remainder of the 50’s and the 60’s in New York where she was counted among an important group of women artists. In 1961 Drexler met fellow artist John Hultberg at The Artist's Club in New York. Artists there discussed abstract expressionism and it was there she met accomplished artists. Through their connections she had her first solo exhibition of 11 works at Tanager Gallery. Drexler and Hultberg were married and spent three years traveling before settling down and living in New York’s Chelsea Hotel in the late 1960’s.
It was 1971 when the couple purchased a house off the coast of Maine on Monhegan Island and they split their time between Maine and NYC. In 1983 Drexler moved year round to Monhegan Island, trading the high paced New York art scene for the decidedly more relaxed island life. Here she found an endless supply of subjects to paint from island people to landscapes. During this time Drexler’s paintings became less strictly abstract and exhibited a synthesis of abstract and representational influences.
Drexler died on December 30, 1999 leaving behind a legacy of important artwork and her motto “Art for Art’s Sake”. Drexler had a complete disregard for making money or profiting in any way, instead choosing to live the life of a recluse pauper after leaving the New York art scene. Lynne Drexler was truly the rare, real deal and we are delighted to have several of her works at the gallery. Please stop in to view her art work or feel free to email with any questions.