Born in 1943, Auckland, Gretchen Albrecht has exhibited in New Zealand and internationally for more than 35 years. She graduated from the Auckland University School of Fine Arts in 1963 and in 1981 was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago, Dunedin. Albrecht was awarded grants from the QEII Arts Council 1976, 1978 and 1986. She has participated in many travelling group exhibitions, among them: NZ/NY (New York 1983), NZ Art Today (Chicago 1986), Distance Looks Our Way (Spain and the Netherlands 1993), Reclaiming the Madonna (England) and has had two solo exhibitions in London.
In 2007 her paintings were exhibited in Valencia, Spain as part of the exhibition Ultramarte at the Casa Museo Benlliure, and in 2010 she featured in the group exhibition Diaspora: Pluralism and Singularity which toured New Zealand. Crossing the Divide which explored the link between Gretchen’s prints and paintings was shown at the Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui, 1998. There have been several major survey exhibitions of Gretchen Albrecht’s work: Returning, Dunedin Art gallery, 2005; Illuminations, Auckland Art Gallery, 2002; AFTERnature, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui, 1986.
Highly regarded as a colourist, Albrecht continues to engage with abstraction in a personal and lyrical manner often using shaped canvases – the hemisphere and oval – although recent years have also seen a return to the rectangular formant. She has also produced a large body of works on paper: drawings, gouaches, lithographs, etchings and silkscreens and since 2000 she has extended into large scale stainless steel sculptures.
In July, 2000, during a week Gretchen Albrecht spent in Christchurch to work on a series of lithographs at PaperGraphica Print Studio, Marian Maguire asked about the relationship between her paintings and prints. INTERVIEW…
Artist’s website: www.gretchenalbrecht.com