BERRY CAMPBELL GALLERY AND MNUCHIN GALLERY PRESENT LYNNE DREXLER: THE FIRST DECADE

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • October 14, 2022

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BERRY CAMPBELL GALLERY AND MNUCHIN GALLERY PRESENT LYNNE DREXLER: THE FIRST DECADE

 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, October 14, 2022–Berry Campbell Gallery announces Lynne Drexler: The First Decade––a landmark exhibition presented in collaboration with Mnuchin Gallery, which will survey the seminal paintings Lynne Drexler (1928-1999) created between 1959-1969. A second-generation Abstract Expressionist and student of both Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell, Drexler established a distinctive stylistic idiom through vibrantly contrasting hues, applied in swatch-like patches with a Pointillist dynamism. Mnuchin Gallery will feature works produced between 1959-1964, while Berry Campbell will feature those between 1965-1969. This chronological presentation aims to highlight Drexler’s significant contributions to post-war American abstraction in demonstrating the innovative and signature style she honed over this pivotal decade in her career spent primarily in New York. On view from October 27 - December 17, 2022, Lynne Drexler: The First Decade will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue authored by Gail Levin, with contributions by Lois Dodd and Jamie Wyeth.  We are grateful for Art Intelligence Global’s participation in this collaborative venture.

 

Berry Campbell is located at 524 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m, or by appointment.

 

Mnuchin Gallery is located at 45 East 78th Street, New York, NY 10075. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m, or by appointment. 

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Lynne Drexler was an Abstract Expressionist painter born in 1928 near Newport News, Virginia. Drexler studied drama at the Richmond Professional Institute from which she graduated in 1949. After an illness, she took art courses at the College of William & Mary and was encouraged by several mentors to move to New York and study with Hans Hofmann, which she did in 1956. Drexler studied at Hunter College with Robert Motherwell, who encouraged her to believe she could make a living as an artist.

 

Drexler began exhibiting her works in the late 1950s, and by 1959, she had developed her signature brushwork: swatch-like strokes in dense clusters, which allow color, not geometry, to triumph. She joined the dynamic art scene in Greenwich Village, frequenting the Cedar Tavern and the 8th Street Artist Club’s events. Drexler had her first solo exhibition in February of 1961 at Tanager Gallery, New York, whose founding members include Lois Dodd, Alex Katz, and Philip Pearlstein.

 

In 1962 at a Halloween dance at “The Club,” Drexler met her future husband, John Philip Hultberg (1922-2005), a painter from Berkeley, California, who had moved to New York in 1949. Hultberg showed his semi-abstract Surrealist paintings at Martha Jackson Gallery. Drexler and Hultberg were married in 1962 and took their honeymoon in Maine, where he had a house on Monhegan Island.

 

This would be the introduction to the place that would become so significant to Drexler’s life and art. That summer Drexler incorporated the shapes and colors of Monhegan into her work. She continued to translate these memories of Maine into her paintings during the winter in her studio in New York.

 

Following Hultberg’s employment teaching art, the couple moved to San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; and Honolulu, Hawaii. Drexler was able to make opportunities of her own by exhibiting at Esther Robles Gallery in Los Angeles (1965) and Nuuana Vallery Gallery in Honolulu (1967). When back in New York, Drexler and Hultberg were residents of the Chelsea Hotel until the early 1970s. One of Drexler’s paintings hung in the lobby along with work by other artists, including Larry Rivers.

 

In the late 1960s there were few opportunities for Lynne Drexler. The only exhibition on record from 1969 was a group exhibition at the Alonzo Gallery, where she would have three solo exhibitions in the 1970s. Despite the lack of recognition, Drexler continued to make bright, energic paintings juxtaposing patterns and colors that owe debt to her other artistic, pursuits, quilting and needlework. Her exploration creating with textiles is contemporaneous with the Pattern and Decoration movement, which celebrates women’s crafts.

 

By 1983 she was living full time on the island of Monhegan. Hultberg spent one winter there and found it too isolating and moved to Portland, Maine.  Drexler found solitude on Monhegan and made connections in the year-round community. During the last two decades of her life, Drexler’s art became more representational, including elements of her coastal surroundings, still lifes, and a series of paintings incorporating dolls and masks. In her later years, Drexler developed more renown locally in New York with several solo shows held in Maine galleries.  Drexler died of cancer in 1999.

 

An early critic compared Drexler’s work to that of Van Gogh, but he might have also compared the high drama of their lives, a story narrated in this exhibition catalogue essay by Gail Levin. Admiration for Drexler’s art gathered steam in the years following her death, when solo exhibitions of her work were held at Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine (2003), the Monhegan Museum (2008), and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine (2009).

ABOUT THE GALLERY

Christine Berry and Martha Campbell opened Berry Campbell Gallery in the heart of Chelsea on the ground floor in 2013. The gallery has a fine-tuned program representing artists of post-war American painting that have been overlooked or neglected, particularly women of Abstract Expressionism. Since its inception, the gallery has developed a strong emphasis in research to bring to light artists overlooked due to age, race, gender, or geography. This unique perspective has been increasingly recognized by curators, collectors, and the press.

 

Berry Campbell has been included and reviewed in publications such as Architectural Digest, Art & Antiques, Art in America, Artforum, Artnet News, ArtNewsThe Brooklyn RailHuffington Post, HyperallergicEast Hampton StarLuxe Magazine, The New Criterion, The New York Times, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art.

 

On September 1, 2022, Berry Campbell moved to 524 West 26th Street, New York, New York. The 9,000-square-foot gallery houses 4,500 square feet of exhibition space, including a skylit main gallery and four smaller galleries, as well as two private viewing areas, a full-sized library, executive offices and substantial on-site storage space. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m or by appointment. For further information please call at 212.924.2178, visit our website at www.berrycampbell.com, or email at info@berrycampbell.com.

 

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Contact:
Berry Campbell
2129242178
info@berrycampbell.com

Berry Campbell
530 West 24th Street
New York, New York
info@berrycampbell.com
2129242178
http://BerryCampbell.com

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