Gretchen Albrecht

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1943

Vase of Flowers

  • 1970
  • Watercolour
  • Donated from the Canterbury Public Library Collection, 2001
  • 2002/145

One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most highly regarded abstract painters, Gretchen Albrecht completed a large series of paintings and sketches based on gardens in the early 1970s. In it, she works in a loose, spontaneous manner with watercolour and acrylic paints. Elements of the artist’s garden are arranged and displayed in the vase central to this painting. Like her predecessor Frances Hodgkins, there is a verve and confidence in Gretchen’s use of watercolour, and she embraces the expressive qualities of rapidly applied wet washes of colour.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • Gretchen Albrecht produced a large number of watercolours during the late 1960s and 1970s. The medium proved ideal for the artist, as its immediacy and transparency were ideal for creating vibrant and energised compositions such as this one.

    Albrecht is a significant contemporary New Zealand artist who has developed an abstract style that reflects the influence of international modernist colour-field painters such as Helen Frankenthaler.

    Albrecht was born in Auckland and studied at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. In 1981 she was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago in Dunedin. Albrecht has exhibited regularly, both nationally and internationally, since 1964. A major survey of her paintings and drawings toured New Zealand in 1986. She has travelled widely and regularly works abroad. As well as painting, printmaking is a major component of Albrecht’s work.

    (Label date unknown)