Gretchen Albrecht graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts with a Diploma in Fine Arts with Honours in 1963. She quickly set herself up as a leading artist in New Zealand; her first solo exhibition was opened by Colin McCahon.
Gretchen is most well known for her abstract style where she uses bold colours and wide brush strokes on semi-circular and oval shaped canvases, but she also has produced series of watercolours, figurative paintings, prints and sculptures.
Gretchen has had over 50 solo exhibitions and has been included in over 60 group exhibitions both in New Zealand and overseas. She is represented in major art collections both within New Zealand and overseas.
Gretchen's first major survey exhibition was AFTERnature: a survey of 23 years at the Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui in 1986. She was also part of the important exhibition Distance looks our way: 10 artists from NZ that was displayed at the 1992 Seville Expo before being toured throughout New Zealand. The retrospective exhibition Illuminations, that investigated two decades of Albrecht's hemisphere and oval paintings, was held at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2002.
Her more recent work has encompassed large-scale, stainless steel sculpture and a new series of multi-panelled rectangular paintings featuring a rectangular 'threshold' motif. This motif has also been a key presence in recent oval works. In 2009, Albrecht began working on a new series of rectangular paintings, featuring oval-shaped vortices of colour and slender horizontal geometric figures . The first of these paintings were recently exhibited at Mark Hutchins Gallery, Wellington and Nadene Milne Gallery, Arrowtown.
| Black Rose, 2010, oil on canvas, rectangular stretcher. 1760 x 3000mm
Image courtesy of the artist and Sue Crockford Gallery