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Gretchen Albrecht: the colourful, the cerebral, the spiritual and the emotional

Gretchen Albrecht, Painting
Two Rooms 
Until April 26

In Gretchen Albrecht’s latest exhibition at Two Rooms, she is showing mainly recent large works although there are a couple of works which are  up to 12 years old, which show some of the subtle changes which  have occurred in her work over that time

The rectangular works feature oval paintings, of massed colour on bare canvas. Through these abstract shapes the artist has created swirling worlds of colour which can be read as complex mages from the cosmos to microscopic observations of biological specimens.
But as well as presenting both macro and micro visions they refer to a number of other sources of inspiration.

The titles give a hint at these suggesting blooms from the garden with Rosa Splendour ($68,000) and Belladonna ($70,000).

In common with many of her works, there is a dichotomy. A balance between light and dark as can be seen with works like Belladonna referring to both its healing properties and its use as a poison. The work with its deep purples and reds has a sense of mystery as well as an intense physicality.

Such works with their vulval like folds also have both sensuality as well as hints of mortality and death as with Ashes ($65,000).

Some of the works have a landscape or topographical quality such as  Pastoral ($65,000) where there is a sense of the viewer being presented with a bird's eye view.

In many of these works the artist also incorporates colour bands which slice across the surface of the painted shape. These act as an hiatus, drawing attention to the artist’s process as well as creating additional spatial layers and providing contrasts between the geometric and the gestural, combining aspects of the cerebral, the spiritual and the emotional.

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