Gretchen Albrecht

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Gretchen Albrecht is one of New Zealand's most celebrated abstract artists and is widely known for her iconic hemispherical and ovoid works. Her consistent use of these shapes as structural boundaries in her career has allowed her the freedom to investigate colour and gesture as a response to an aesthetic idea - often born from an impulse, event or memory of things like the effect of a stanza of poetry or the play of light on the black sand of Piha beach.

Since 1965 her painterly technique has involved the application of washes of thinned-down acrylic to un-primed canvas in a manner akin to American post-abstractionists Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko. As a printmaker, Albrecht transposes her painterly ideas to paper, often allowing the mechanical nature of printmaking to dictate the outcome of her works as much as her original intention directs them.

Born in Onehunga, Auckland in 1943, Albrecht graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts in 1963 and was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago in 1981. She has been exhibiting in New Zealand and internationally for over 35 years and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 for her contribution to New Zealand painting.

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