Artwork by Rita Letendre,  Sunrise

Rita Letendre

acrylic on canvas
signed and dated 1985 lower right; signed and titled on the reverse and signed on the stretcher; unframed
30 x 40 ins ( 76.2 x 101.6 cms )

Sold for $8,850.00
Sale date: May 28th 2019

Private Collection, Toronto
Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik, Rita Letendre: Fire & Light, exhibition catalogue, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, June 29 - September 17, 2017, pages 17-20
If Letendre’s large canvases of the 1970s reflected her fascination with depicting movement and vibration by combining hard-edged technique with airbrush, her works of the 1980s demonstrated a return to a more lyrical expression of the essential elemental forces that animate life. Light, a guiding force within the artist’s practice, appears in this 1985 canvas as a brilliant yellow band of pigment searing through the lower half of the composition. As though bisecting ground and firmament, the bright bar of colour dissolves into a rich cobalt haze in a gestural effect that evokes the work’s titular sunrise.

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Rita Letendre
(1928) RCA

Rita Letendre was born in Drummondville, Quebec in 1928, and moved with her parents to Montreal in 1941. Beginning her career as an artist during the 1950s and early 1960s in Montreal, she participated in the Automatiste movement and painted with that intuitive strategy.  She 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.