Gretchen Albrecht (b. Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand) is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s preeminent abstract painters. Albrecht’s paintings combine formal, historical and ephemeral qualities, her sensuous colour palette and stained canvas’s acting as a generous counterpoint for rhythmic patterns of gestural movement, form and scale. The tactile quality of the work, with its assured swirling brushstrokes, resonates strongly with Albrecht’s allusions to an inward sense of order engaged in a perpetually dynamic relationship with the underlying rhythms of a natural, mythological cosmos.
Albrecht has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and internationally for five decades. Her work is held in major New Zealand and Australian public collections including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, Waikato Museum, the University of Auckland and Victoria University. In 2000, Gretchen was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to painting. In 2002 the Auckland Art Gallery mounted the large-scale exhibition, ‘Illuminations: a 23 Year Survey of the Hemispheres and Ovals’. She is the subject of several major publications, including, most recently, her monograph Between gesture and geometry (Massey University Press, Auckland, 2019), Colloquy: Three Essays, (Auckland, 2015), edited by James Ross with essays by Colm Tóibín, Linda Gill and Mary Kisler.