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Gretchen Albrecht has exhibited in New Zealand and internationally for more than 35 years.Since the 1970s, Albrecht’s work has evolved from the poured acrylic ‘stained canvases’ for which she first gained widespread recognition, into a pair of signature ‘shaped-canvas’ formats: the hemisphere (half circle) & the oval. These are shapes that Albrecht associates with particular meanings & states of mind. In the shaped-canvas paintings she has been producing since the early 1980s, resonant combinations of colour and geometry create images with a clear poetic impulse, in which references to landscape, family and the cosmos act as emotional points of departure.

Since 2000 Albrecht’s artistic horizons have broadened to encompass large-scale stainless steel sculpture and have witnessed the inception of a series of multi-paneled rectangular paintings featuring an inner rectangular ‘threshold’ motif. Then developing further in 2009 Awhen lbrecht began working on a new series of rectangular paintings featuring oval-shaped vortices of colour combined with slender horizontal geometric figures.

Albrecht continues to develop her ideas using the three painting-stretcher shapes of hemisphere, oval and rectangle

Gretchen Albrecht was recently interviewed on the Good Oil podcast, which is dedicated to long form conversations with Aotearoa / New Zealand painters about their lives and practices.

Host, Graeme Douglas, explains:

In this episode I visit Gretchen Albrecht at her recent show at Two Rooms gallery in Auckland.

After graduating from the The Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland with an Honors Degree in Painting in 1963, Gretchen quickly established what has become one of the most enduring and impressive abstract practices in NZ, with her much celebrated West Coast paintings and Hemisphere works, and continues to evolve her practice 60 years later.

Her work is held in numerous public and private collections including Te Papa, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, The Fletcher Collection, The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, The University of Auckland Art Collection and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Gretchen is a Francis Hodgkins Fellow and was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2000 for services to painting.

There are images of the paintings we talk about on The Good Oil Gretchen Albrecht Instagram post for your reference.

In this episode you’ll hear Gretchen speak about the influence of her builder father and seamstress mother, being taught by Louise Henderson, the stored experiences of life that she draws on in her practice, her advice to young artists, the possibilities that different shaped stretchers offer and the secret figurative references she includes in her work for her to enjoy.

Parnell Gallery has proudly represented Gretchen Albrecht with her limited edition prints since 2013. You can view available works here.