Gretchen Albrecht (1943-)
polychrome stain on canvas
1662 x 1775mm image
1700 x 1805mm frame
Collection of The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, purchased with the
assistance of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, 1976
Accession no. 431
Reproduced with the kind permission of Gretchen Albrecht, January 2021
Though nearly four times the size of Scales’s paintings, Albrecht’s Lagoon, 1976, was felicitously placed beside Scales’s Bry-sur-Marne, Orchard in the exhibition Flora Scales at The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson, 2018-2019.
In Scales’s painting the subtle shifts from deep to shallow space are contained within the framing edges of her canvas while Albrecht’s washes of liquid colour flow over her canvas to suggest a reaching and lengthening beyond the vertical borders. In both paintings the central, dark, strong, forked structure stabilises and gives a sense of structure to the flow and fluctuation of the space.
By linking the work of these two artists the curator demonstrates the chain of reference which continues artist to artist, age to age. As Scales said: “Everyone who looks is influenced…but you should forget that you’ve been influenced. How would I be painting if I’d never seen other work – I would be doing bullocks as in the caves in Spain.” (excerpt from The Notebooks of Marjorie de Lange recording conversations with Flora Scales, 1982-1983).
Landscape. Red brown vertical form, right of centre. Diagonal form from the bottom left of the vertical element, abraded and worked at. Oval pool of pale pink/white to left. Wavy shape of similar pale colours, between the vertical and scratched diagonal, which extends to upper margin of canvas. Blurred diagonal, lower right corner.
LL ochre brush point F Scales
Verso UR pencil (not in artist's hand) Bry-sur-Marne, Orchard
Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by H. F. V. Scales, 1979
Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand
Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by the artist, 1979. Title and date supplied by artist at time of donation.
Alternative title, Orchard, Bry-sur-Marne, taken from the exhibition Flora Scales at The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson, 2018 and Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand documentation.
Central ‘V’ shape recalls masts and derricks of earlier work such as Shipping, Wellington Harbour [BC128] and Untitled [Mousehole Cornwall] [BC030].