Ever heard of Lynne Drexler?  Up to a pair of years back, you may well be excused for not understanding of her.  Born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1928, Drexler moved to New York in the 1950’s and researched with pointed out modernists Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell.  She was a next-generation participant in the Summary Expressionist movement and had a solo present in 1961 at Tanager Gallery, a nicely-regarded artists’ cooperative gallery which was element of the downtown scene.

Lynne Drexler, 1960

But that was really a lot it.  She married an additional artist, taught at many universities around the region, and moved back to New York in 1967, getting to be just one more of the myriad artists working in the metropolis with out illustration by a highly regarded industrial gallery.

Drexler and her husband purchased a summer months put on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine in 1971, and by 1983 she was separated from him and dwelling on the island complete time.  She died there in 1999, leaving at the rear of a studio whole of paintings.  Her auction final results in the 15 many years next her dying were being quite modest, a couple hundred to a number of thousand pounds, promoting primarily at New England auction homes.  Because 2019, on the other hand, her market has exploded. 

What is likely on?  I was talking with a friend, an critical collector and a cash manager who brings the similar finger-to-the-pulse consciousness to the artwork marketplace that he brings to the stock market.  He has the braveness of his convictions: he purchased his Drexler painting privately in the small six figures a minimal around a 12 months in the past, shelling out more than two times what the auction history for the artist was at the time.  Given that my mate acquired his perform, Drexler’s paintings have started providing frequently at main New York auction houses for price ranges nicely into six and even 7 figures.  The Live performance, an oil on canvas measuring about four-by-4 feet, sold for $1,043,380 such as premium at Sotheby’s Hong Kong before this month.

Lynne Drexler, The Concert, 1959.  Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

Drexler’s get the job done is the subject matter of not a single but two demonstrates at important New York galleries at the second, Berry Campbell Gallery downtown, and Mnuchin Gallery on the Upper East Facet.  There was lately a prolonged article on her and her perform in the New York Times.

How has a fairly unknown artist gotten so scorching so quickly?  Some of it may perhaps be defined by savvy administration by Berry Campbell, which handles the estate and had a substantial team of paintings to work with.  Some of it is because of to the point that performs by women artists are extremely warm appropriate now (as are those people by artists of colour), as museums try to make up for a historical past of neglect.  Some of it might merely be the end result of publicity acquired by deep-pocketed sellers.

But why Drexler, as an alternative of a range of other girls artists of her era who were being gifted painters and who struggled against the same male-dominated institution?  Any incredibly hot market place raises doubt: is this a bubble which will burst, a current market staying manipulated by shadowy forces?  Or will Drexler be placed 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 growth, a late close friend of mine who had a seat on the New York Stock Exchange stated to me, “Reagan, I do not comprehend the valuations of most of these on the web firms.  I’m hesitant to set a ton of income into them.  But when a teach is barreling down the monitor straight at you, it doesn’t do to place your hand up and say, ‘Stop! You are not supposed to be on this track’.”  He gambled a little in the new marketplace, produced a couple bucks, and pulled out as the dot.com sector commenced to tank.

Of system, with Drexler, no make any difference what you paid out, you will have a stunning portray to dangle on the wall.  No make a difference what her industry does, if you love the perform, you’ll win.  But your get may not be a win measurable in bucks and cents.