Rita Letendre, 1959, Aux Pays des Heraclides
oil on canvas, 20 in x 16.5 in,
signed and dated, titled verso.
This bold and dynamic palette knife painting by Rita Letendre is emblematic of a defining moment in the young artist’s career. A moment when Letendre discovers a unique visual language through the use of colour, texture, light, darkness, and movement. We can see the influence of her mentor, automatiste artist Paul-Emile Borduas, in this painting. However, Rita Letendre in 1959 takes a bold step forward, becoming more gestural and explosive in her painting, creating flashes of light through unique colour tones and dark masses.
In 1959, Rita Letendre wins first prize at a Young Canadian Painters Exposition in New York and the Prix Rodolphe-de- Repentigny in 1960. As a result of winning first prize ($300.) and the art sales that followed Rita Letendre was able to quit her full time job to concentrate on painting.
These late 1950’s/early 1960’s paintings by Rita Letendre have become very desirable to collectors of blue chip Canadian art. We have witnessed a tremendous surge of interest in her art in the last ten years and as a result the prices of her circa 1960 paintings have been rapidly climbing in the art market. The 1960 era of painting in Canada has become a hot point for serious collectors of Canadian post-war art, with Rita Letendre leading the way, as one of the most important artists in Canada. At 89 years old she has proven to be an immensely talented and original Canadian artist who has been honoured with major retrospective exhibitions.
James Rottman Fine Art carries a significant inventory of historical artworks by Rita Letendre. Do not hesitate to contact us or call us directly at 416.893.5784 with inquiries regarding this artwork or other works by Rita Letendre.