Bonhams Presents An Exhibition Dedicated To Works By Lynne Drexler In New York

New York – Bonhams is pleased to present Lynne Drexler: Play of Color, a private-selling exhibition, public view now through April 14 in New York. Featuring 29 works by the lyrically abstract American painter, the exhibition charts the evolution of Lynne Drexler’s (1928-1999) signature style from early to mid-career through precursory works on paper, works on board, and oil paintings. Drexler was an inimitable 20th century artist whose charged work and life exuded a vitality that is now experiencing overdue, renewed art historical and market interest. The exhibition is curated by gallerist and art consultant, John Kenneth Alexander, a longstanding champion of the artist.

Trained by Robert Motherwell and Hans Hofmann, Drexler toiled in the Abstract Expressionist-dominant New York in the 1950s. While her embrace of “push-pull” color theory is evident in her work, mosaic fields that exude vitality and establish atmospheric depth, Drexler’s discontent with the commercial New York scene, where she saw limited success, urged her to relocate to the remote Monhegan Island, Maine. A self-proclaimed “hermit,” the coastal reprieve proved to be both profoundly spiritual and productive for the artist, functioning akin to Giverny for Monet, Tahiti for Gauguin, New Mexico for O’Keeffe. Working in a place where everything was “reduced to essentials,” Drexler became prolific, painting voraciously and lining her hallways with saturated canvases toppling one another.  

In 2008, Monhegan Museum and the Portland Museum of Art presented a solo exhibition of Drexler’s works that depicted her external, natural surroundings diffused with her internal landscapes, precipitating a resurgence. Today, her works are in the collections of major institutions including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, and fetch top prices in the secondary market.

Bonhams’ exhibition maps the progression of Drexler’s artistic career from 1957 to the late 1960s, as she pushed the boundaries of color, gesture, spatiality, and play to establish the signature style she is best known for. The works on paper and paintings on view will be available for private sale. Highlights presented in the exhibition include:

  • Feather Blue, 1968, oil on canvas, 49 1/2 by 44 in.
  • Stumps, 1968, oil on canvas, 47 3/4 by 35 1/2 in. 
  • Green Gage I, 1959, oil on canvas, 14 by 17 1/2 in. 
  • Untitled, 1959, gouache on paper, 19 by 24 1/2 in. 
  • Raucous Green, 1965, oil on canvas, 48 by 36 in.  
  • Untitled, 1960, crayon and watercolor on paper, 19 by 25 in.

“Bonhams is honored to continue to champion Drexler who is finally gaining the massive acclaim that her extraordinary works deserve,” commented Andrew Huber, Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art in New York.

Lynne Drexler
Lynne Drexler: Play of Color exhibition.
Lisbeth Thalberg
Lisbeth Thalberg
Journalist and artist (photographer). Editor of the art section at MCM.
Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles