Ever heard of Lynne Drexler? Up to a few of decades back, you could possibly be excused for not figuring out of her. Born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1928, Drexler moved to New York in the 1950’s and researched with mentioned modernists Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell. She was a next-technology participant in the Summary Expressionist movement and experienced a solo demonstrate in 1961 at Tanager Gallery, a effectively-regarded artists’ cooperative gallery which was part of the downtown scene.
But that was really much it. She married yet another artist, taught at many educational institutions around the nation, and moved back again to New York in 1967, getting just another of the myriad artists functioning in the metropolis without the need of representation by a respected professional gallery.
Drexler and her spouse acquired a summer season place on Monhegan Island off the coastline of Maine in 1971, and by 1983 she was divided from him and residing on the island full time. She died there in 1999, leaving behind a studio whole of paintings. Her auction outcomes in the 15 a long time subsequent her death were really modest, a few hundred to a couple of thousand bucks, selling typically at New England auction properties. Due to the fact 2019, nevertheless, her marketplace has exploded.
What is likely on? I was conversing with a friend, an vital collector and a income manager who provides the very same finger-to-the-pulse recognition to the artwork industry that he provides to the stock sector. He has the courage of his convictions: he acquired his Drexler painting privately in the lower 6 figures a very little in excess of a calendar year back, paying around two times what the auction document for the artist was at the time. Given that my mate acquired his function, Drexler’s paintings have started advertising routinely at important New York auction houses for charges well into six and even seven figures. The Live performance, an oil on canvas measuring about four-by-4 feet, offered for $1,043,380 including quality at Sotheby’s Hong Kong previously this month.
Drexler’s function is the subject matter of not 1 but two shows at vital New York galleries at the second, Berry Campbell Gallery downtown, and Mnuchin Gallery on the Higher East Facet. There was lately a extended report on her and her perform in the New York Instances.
How has a reasonably unfamiliar artist gotten so hot so quick? Some of it may perhaps be explained by savvy administration by Berry Campbell, which handles the estate and experienced a big group of paintings to get the job done with. Some of it is due to the truth that works by women of all ages artists are incredibly very hot appropriate now (as are individuals by artists of shade), as museums try to make up for a background of neglect. Some of it may possibly simply be the result of publicity bought by deep-pocketed sellers.
But why Drexler, as a substitute of a number of other women artists of her generation who had been proficient painters and who struggled against the exact same male-dominated establishment? Any sizzling market place raises doubt: is this a bubble which will burst, a current market becoming manipulated by shadowy forces? Or will Drexler be put firmly in the canon, as Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler have been, with her paintings continuing to sell for seven figures as theirs do? Time, as they say, will notify.
Back again in the days of the Dot.com boom, a late buddy of mine who had a seat on the New York Inventory Exchange stated to me, “Reagan, I really don’t fully grasp the valuations of most of these on-line corporations. I’m hesitant to place a ton of money into them. But when a practice is barreling down the track straight at you, it does not do to place your hand up and say, ‘Stop! You’re not supposed to be on this track’.” He gambled a minor in the new market place, built a couple bucks, and pulled out as the dot.com current market began to tank.
Of training course, with Drexler, no make any difference what you compensated, you are going to have a attractive portray to dangle on the wall. No make a difference what her current market does, if you enjoy the function, you will earn. But your win might not be a earn measurable in dollars and cents.