Lynne Mapp Drexler

American, 1928-1999
SOLD
Untitled, 1959
SOLD
Untitled, circa 1963-1965
SOLD
Redding, 1961
SOLD
Sunset Sea, 1969
SOLD
Blue Peninsula, 1971
SOLD
Plumed Yellow, 1968
**ADDITIONAL PAINTINGS BY THE ARTIST CURRENTLY IN INVENTORY. PLEASE CONTACT GALLERY FOR DETAILS.**

“I’ve always felt deeply within my soul that I was a damn good artist, though the world didn’t recognize me as such. I wasn’t about to play their game.” - Lynne Mapp Drexler

Lynne Mapp Drexler was an exceptional and prolific artist working at the height of Abstract Expressionism in the mid-20th century. Born in 1928 in Newport News, Virginia, Drexler’s education in the arts started at a young age. Her parents, who were avid supporters of both the visual and performing arts, enrolled their daughter in art courses, dance classes, and music lessons. This early introduction to music sparked a love that would heavily influence her later work.

In the late 1950s, after attending the College of William and Mary in Virginia, Drexler was encouraged to move to New York and study contemporary art. She began her work in Abstract Expressionism at the suggestion of her uncle — who had family ties to the Hudson River School of painting — as well as a number of her teachers. During this time, she studied with Hans Hofmann at his school in New York, as well as at his summer school in Provincetown. Hofmann’s theories and work as a colorist made him one of Drexler’s most significant influences. Drexler then went on to graduate study at Hunter College in New York under the tutelage of Robert Motherwell. 

Her work with Motherwell and Hofmann in the 1950s laid the foundation for her artistic style – a synthesis of Post Impressionist landscape painting and Post War painterly abstraction. Her swatch-like brushstrokes and vivid use of color set her apart from her contemporaries. In her early works, Drexler focused on color and composition. She eventually reconciled her two interests – landscape and abstraction – in her later works, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. At the urging of her two mentors, Drexler pursued painting full-time.

Classical music became an important part of her art. While living in New York, she regularly attended concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera, and would often make sketches inspired by the music as she sat in the audience. The musical inspiration in her work echoes the theories of Hofmann, who promoted the idea that color has scales in the same way that music has scales. Her vibrant surfaces are both complex and painterly, but with a flatness akin to something found in the background of a Gustav Klimt work.

Drexler met fellow artist John Hultberg at The Artist’s Club in New York, where accomplished artists gathered to discuss Abstract Expressionism. The two were married in 1961. Through their connections, she had her first solo exhibition at Tanager Gallery. Drexler had great difficulty finding galleries to represent her work in a male-dominated art world, while Hultberg enjoyed quite a bit of notoriety and success and was considered a talented up-and-comer among the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. 

Around this same time, Hultberg's art dealer, Martha Jackson, who owned a prominent gallery in New York, bought him a house on Monhegan Island in Maine as an occasional escape from the pressures of the city. The island had a small summer art colony, and the couple split their time between New York and Maine. Drexler’s time spent on the island greatly impacted her work. She spent her summers sketching outdoors, drawing inspiration from her surroundings. While back in New York during the winters, she translated her sketches into vivid abstract paintings. By 1983, Drexler had moved permanently to Monhegan Island, where she lived out the last 16 years of her life.

Drexler died in 1999, after which her estate was assessed by her friends and fellow islanders. A multitude of paintings were removed from the house — works that hadn’t been seen for decades were pulled from all over, including the basement, closets and even from under mattresses.

Drexler exhibited throughout her life at venues such as Tanager Gallery, Esther Robles Gallery and Westerly Gallery. Retrospective exhibitions of her work were held at the Monhegan Museum and the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Monhegan Museum, Farnsworth Museum, Brooklyn Museum and the Queens Museum among others.

Sun Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1959

Twentieth Century Gallery, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1960s

Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia, 1960

Tanager Gallery, New York, 1961

Tanager Gallery, New York, 1962

Two Person Show, Galleria, San Miguel Allende, Mexico, 1963

Esther Robles Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1965

Westerly Gallery, New York, 1965

Traveling Show, “American Painting”, Sproul Museum, Louisville, Kentucky & Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1966

Nuuana Valley Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1967

“Mr. & Mrs. Painting And Sculpture”, Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1969

Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1970

Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1971

Spring Arts Festival, Educational and Cultural Trust Fund of the Electrical Industry, 1971

Hudson River Museum, Ciba-Geigy Collection, 1971

Traveling Show, “Martha Jackson New York Collection”, Finch College, New York, University of Maryland & Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York, 1973

Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1973

Traveling Show, Ciba-Geigy Collection, “Monhegan Artist Show”, Allentown Museum, 1974

Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1975

“Women Artist Show”, Ciba-Geigy Collection, 1975

Landmark Gallery, New York, 1977

Veydras Ltd, New York, 1981

Aldona Gobuzas Gallery, New York, 1983

Veydras Ltd, New York, 1983

Middlesex Community College, Piscataway, New Jersey, 1984

St. John’s University, Staten Island, New York, 1984

Two Person Show, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, 1987

Gallery 127, Portland, Maine, 1989

Judith Leighton Gallery, Blue Hill, Maine, 1989

Gallery 6, Portland, Maine, 1989

Two Person Show, The Art Gallery at 6 Deering Street, Portland, Maine, 1992

Lupine Gallery, Monhegan, Maine, 1998

“Women of the 50s”, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, 2002

“Monhegan Modernists, Collection of John Day”, Bates College Museum of Art,

Lewiston, Maine, 2002

Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine, 2003

Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine, 2003

Greenhut Galleries, Portland, Maine, 2005

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, 2005

“A Century of Women Artist on Monhegan Island”, Monhegan Museum, Maine, 2005

Opalka Gallery, Albany, New York, 2005

Elizabeth Moss Gallery, Falmouth, Maine, 2005

Jameson Moderne Gallery, Portland, Maine, 2007

Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York, 2007

“Collector’s Choices”, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, 2007

“Women Artists of Monhegan Island”, UNE Gallery, Portland, Maine, 2007

“Three from Maine”, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, 2007

“Lynne Drexler, Painter”, Monhegan Museum & the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, 2008

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, 2008

“Lynne Drexler - Early Spring”, McCormick Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 2010

Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine

Brooklyn Museum, New York

Ciba-Geigy Collection, New York

Doug and Jaimee Baker Collection, California

Ellen Zeman and Paul Hale Collection, Vermont

Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine

Fromer-McCree Living Trust, Utah

Greenville County Museum, South Carolina

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California

Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York

Janice Lyle Collection, California

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Collection, New York

Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

Martha Jackson Collection, New York

Maureen Shapiro and Ben Rosenthal Collection

Monhegan Museum, Monhegan Island, Maine

Museum of Modern Art, New York

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Portland Museum of Art, Maine

Provincetown Art Association Museum, Massachusetts

Prentice-Hall Collection

Queens Museum for Art Education, New York

Rick and Sue Miller Collection, California

Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico

University Museum of Contemporary Art, Amherst, Massachusetts

“I’ve always felt deeply within my soul that I was a damn good artist, though the world didn’t recognize me as such. I wasn’t about to play their game.” - Lynne Mapp Drexler

Lynne Mapp Drexler was an exceptional and prolific artist working at the height of Abstract Expressionism in the mid-20th century. Born in 1928 in Newport News, Virginia, Drexler’s education in the arts started at a young age. Her parents, who were avid supporters of both the visual and performing arts, enrolled their daughter in art courses, dance classes, and music lessons. This early introduction to music sparked a love that would heavily influence her later work.

In the late 1950s, after attending the College of William and Mary in Virginia, Drexler was encouraged to move to New York and study contemporary art. She began her work in Abstract Expressionism at the suggestion of her uncle — who had family ties to the Hudson River School of painting — as well as a number of her teachers. During this time, she studied with Hans Hofmann at his school in New York, as well as at his summer school in Provincetown. Hofmann’s theories and work as a colorist made him one of Drexler’s most significant influences. Drexler then went on to graduate study at Hunter College in New York under the tutelage of Robert Motherwell. 

Her work with Motherwell and Hofmann in the 1950s laid the foundation for her artistic style – a synthesis of Post Impressionist landscape painting and Post War painterly abstraction. Her swatch-like brushstrokes and vivid use of color set her apart from her contemporaries. In her early works, Drexler focused on color and composition. She eventually reconciled her two interests – landscape and abstraction – in her later works, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. At the urging of her two mentors, Drexler pursued painting full-time.

Classical music became an important part of her art. While living in New York, she regularly attended concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera, and would often make sketches inspired by the music as she sat in the audience. The musical inspiration in her work echoes the theories of Hofmann, who promoted the idea that color has scales in the same way that music has scales. Her vibrant surfaces are both complex and painterly, but with a flatness akin to something found in the background of a Gustav Klimt work.

Drexler met fellow artist John Hultberg at The Artist’s Club in New York, where accomplished artists gathered to discuss Abstract Expressionism. The two were married in 1961. Through their connections, she had her first solo exhibition at Tanager Gallery. Drexler had great difficulty finding galleries to represent her work in a male-dominated art world, while Hultberg enjoyed quite a bit of notoriety and success and was considered a talented up-and-comer among the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. 

Around this same time, Hultberg's art dealer, Martha Jackson, who owned a prominent gallery in New York, bought him a house on Monhegan Island in Maine as an occasional escape from the pressures of the city. The island had a small summer art colony, and the couple split their time between New York and Maine. Drexler’s time spent on the island greatly impacted her work. She spent her summers sketching outdoors, drawing inspiration from her surroundings. While back in New York during the winters, she translated her sketches into vivid abstract paintings. By 1983, Drexler had moved permanently to Monhegan Island, where she lived out the last 16 years of her life.

Drexler died in 1999, after which her estate was assessed by her friends and fellow islanders. A multitude of paintings were removed from the house — works that hadn’t been seen for decades were pulled from all over, including the basement, closets and even from under mattresses.

Drexler exhibited throughout her life at venues such as Tanager Gallery, Esther Robles Gallery and Westerly Gallery. Retrospective exhibitions of her work were held at the Monhegan Museum and the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Monhegan Museum, Farnsworth Museum, Brooklyn Museum and the Queens Museum among others.

Awards & Memberships

Selected Exhibitions

Sun Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1959

Twentieth Century Gallery, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1960s

Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia, 1960

Tanager Gallery, New York, 1961

Tanager Gallery, New York, 1962

Two Person Show, Galleria, San Miguel Allende, Mexico, 1963

Esther Robles Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1965

Westerly Gallery, New York, 1965

Traveling Show, “American Painting”, Sproul Museum, Louisville, Kentucky & Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1966

Nuuana Valley Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1967

“Mr. & Mrs. Painting And Sculpture”, Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1969

Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1970

Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1971

Spring Arts Festival, Educational and Cultural Trust Fund of the Electrical Industry, 1971

Hudson River Museum, Ciba-Geigy Collection, 1971

Traveling Show, “Martha Jackson New York Collection”, Finch College, New York, University of Maryland & Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York, 1973

Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1973

Traveling Show, Ciba-Geigy Collection, “Monhegan Artist Show”, Allentown Museum, 1974

Alonzo Gallery, New York, 1975

“Women Artist Show”, Ciba-Geigy Collection, 1975

Landmark Gallery, New York, 1977

Veydras Ltd, New York, 1981

Aldona Gobuzas Gallery, New York, 1983

Veydras Ltd, New York, 1983

Middlesex Community College, Piscataway, New Jersey, 1984

St. John’s University, Staten Island, New York, 1984

Two Person Show, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, 1987

Gallery 127, Portland, Maine, 1989

Judith Leighton Gallery, Blue Hill, Maine, 1989

Gallery 6, Portland, Maine, 1989

Two Person Show, The Art Gallery at 6 Deering Street, Portland, Maine, 1992

Lupine Gallery, Monhegan, Maine, 1998

“Women of the 50s”, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, 2002

“Monhegan Modernists, Collection of John Day”, Bates College Museum of Art,

Lewiston, Maine, 2002

Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine, 2003

Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine, 2003

Greenhut Galleries, Portland, Maine, 2005

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, 2005

“A Century of Women Artist on Monhegan Island”, Monhegan Museum, Maine, 2005

Opalka Gallery, Albany, New York, 2005

Elizabeth Moss Gallery, Falmouth, Maine, 2005

Jameson Moderne Gallery, Portland, Maine, 2007

Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York, 2007

“Collector’s Choices”, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, 2007

“Women Artists of Monhegan Island”, UNE Gallery, Portland, Maine, 2007

“Three from Maine”, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, 2007

“Lynne Drexler, Painter”, Monhegan Museum & the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, 2008

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, 2008

“Lynne Drexler - Early Spring”, McCormick Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 2010

Museums & Collections

Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine

Brooklyn Museum, New York

Ciba-Geigy Collection, New York

Doug and Jaimee Baker Collection, California

Ellen Zeman and Paul Hale Collection, Vermont

Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine

Fromer-McCree Living Trust, Utah

Greenville County Museum, South Carolina

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California

Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York

Janice Lyle Collection, California

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Collection, New York

Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

Martha Jackson Collection, New York

Maureen Shapiro and Ben Rosenthal Collection

Monhegan Museum, Monhegan Island, Maine

Museum of Modern Art, New York

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Portland Museum of Art, Maine

Provincetown Art Association Museum, Massachusetts

Prentice-Hall Collection

Queens Museum for Art Education, New York

Rick and Sue Miller Collection, California

Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico

University Museum of Contemporary Art, Amherst, Massachusetts

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