Drexler and the Ends of Man
women, and pulp obsessions
from 1961 — 2001
5 - October 20, 2006
Reception: Wednesday, September 20, 5 — 8 pm
by Rosalyn Drexler: Wednesday, September 27, 5:30 — 6:30
Men and Machines
V, 1966 oil over paper collage on canvas, 30" x 50"
Men and Machines I, 1965 acrylic over paper collage on canvas,
18" x 24"
confront us in Rosalyn Drexler’s paintings and collages,
and they confront themselves. They cross women’s lives.
Their look, their obsessions, fantasies, and fears are routed
into Drexler’s paintings from the pages of pulp detective
novels, tabloid journalism, and from television and gangster B-movies.
While biology may determine sex, culture fashions gender—shaping
our views of what it means to be men and women. Society and history,
therefore, make the man. But to what ends? Drexler’s paintings
reveal the purposes and the fall of man at the end of the twentieth
century. They combine Pop Art and geometrical abstraction to frame
society’s understanding of itself through the theater of
Lovers (a.k.a. Am I Faris), 1963 acrylic
and paper collage on canvas, 56" x 52"
Marilyn Pursued By Death, 1967 acrylic over paper collage
on canvas, 50" x 30"
Drexler began her career as a sculptor, with her first solo show
in New York City in 1960 at the Rueben Gallery, which also featured
the work of Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, and Lucas Samaras.
She began experimenting with collage and painting in 1961 (with
God Shaves, pictured above) and was one of the first
to incorporate enlarged images from popular culture onto the canvas,
painting over them to create a hybrid of collage paintings.
Drexler is also an important avant-garde writer and novelist,
a three-time Obie Award winning playwright, and an Emmy Award
winning TV writer, co-writing a Lily Tomlin Special with Richard
Pryor. Rosalyn Drexler is a Renaissance woman, living and working
God Shaves, 1961 oil over
paper collage on canvas, 20" x 24"
1967 acrylic over paper collage on canvas, 30" x 50"
by Jorge Daniel Veneciano
catalog available with drama by Rosalyn Drexler, and essays by
Rhonda Garelick, Michael Kimmel, and Jorge Daniel Veneciano
program is funded in part by grants from the Cultural Programming
Committee, Rutgers-Newark, New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department
of State, TheFeministArtProject, New Brunswick, and by private