Gretchen Albrecht is a prominent contemporary artist, who has produced some of the most recognisable abstract pieces in the New Zealand cultural landscape over the course of her fifty-year career. Upon completing her studies at the Elam School of Fine Arts in 1963, her work caught the attention of Colin McCahon, leading to her first exhibition in 1965.
Her works on canvas most often take the form of a hemispherical or ovular combustion of vivid colour, reflecting a delicate consideration of the raw power and dramatic beauty of the natural environment. The poetic interplay between colour and form in Albrecht’s work creates an intimate dialogue, which she uses to reference emotional concerns such as relationships, spirituality and human connections to the landscape. Her more recent works have evolved in such a way as to further explore these themes, incorporating large-scale stainless steel sculptures as well as rectangular paintings, which often span multiple canvases. Having exhibited both in New Zealand and internationally, Albrecht’s practice represents an ongoing investigation of colour, geometry and scale.