Artwork by Rita Letendre,  Sharas

Rita Letendre

colour silkscreen
signed, titled, dated 1973 and numbered 58/80 lower right
28 x 38 ins ( 71.1 x 96.5 cms ) ( sheet )

Sold for $431.00
Sale date: September 20th 2017

Private Collection, Toronto

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Rita Letendre
(1928) RCA

Rita Letendre was born in Drummondville, Quebec, of Iroquois descent, in 1928, and moved with her parents to Montreal in 1941. Partly self taught she entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, where she studied for a year and a half. During her study at the Beaux-Arts, Borduas, Mousseau, and Ferron were in the midst of their revolution when they distributed pamphlets announcing where their paintings could be seen. It was at these stimulating exhibitions that Letendre found the possibilities of her own painting.

In 1952 and 1953 she exhibited with the Automatistes and in 1955 again with this group under the title “Espace 1955” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In 1956 she shared a studio with Ulysse Comtois, painter and sculptor, and they and others were the subject of an article in Weekend Magazine on non-objective painters of Montreal. In 1959 her work was included in The Third Biennial Exhibition of Canadian Art. This was followed in 1960 by another important event the “Non-Figurative Artists of Montreal” a show organized by the National Gallery of Canada and put on the road to various centres across Canada. In 1962 Letendre received a travelling grant from the Canada Council and went to Paris, also Italy and Israel with side trips to Spain, Belgium and Germany.

Letendre would become a leading exponent of the abstract colourist movement. Over time, her work has evolved through various media, from brush to spatula, pastel, silkscreen, airbrush and back to pastel. Having participated in more than 65 solo exhibitions, her work encompasses monumental murals as large as 60 feet by 60 feet, down to the smallest silkscreen work. In the words of the artist: “My new pictures seem more aggressive, more intense, to me. I feel like a space pushing against its barriers. Light and colour, and sometimes the absence of colour, have always been the key elements in my painting. With its different values, colour reflects the shades of life. But light, from the first shock of birth to the last breath of life - light is my life.”

Rita Letendre’s artwork is widely collected throughout North America by governments, public galleries and private organizations. Her work has been exhibited internationally in major centres such as Paris, Rome, London, Tel Aviv, and Osaka. In North America, she has shown her work in such important art hubs as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume II”, compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1979