Rita Letendre, Twilight Phase Series, c. 1971,
oil on board, 17 in. x 28 in.,
Rita Letendre, (1928 – 2021), was already considered to be one of the most promising Canadian artists by the late 1950s. She had found in the Automatiste movement the craving for self-expression. In this striking c. 1971 Letendre painting (reproduced above), we clearly recognize the artist’s command of colour and technical mastery. The colour registration and their saturation are extraordinary. Her new hard edge painting of the late 1960s involved itself with both light and speed, and the tensions created by inward implosions and outward explosions. This Twilight Phase series painting (reproduced above) is exceedingly rare in that the artist uses two focal points to create a highly charged surface. The triangular shapes slice through the space, and the areas where they intercept seem electrically charged. It is a fantastic example of her early “Arrow” paintings with its highly saturated bands of colour and an extraordinarily luminous quality. These fantastic early Arrow paintings were exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs California where the artist was honoured with a solo exhibition at the Palm Springs Desert Museum in California in 1974.
Frederick W. Sleight, former director of the Palm Springs Desert Museum writes: “Rita Letendre’s work becomes a statement of natural interpretation. The definition of line, the contrast of color and the purity of format are but another expression of the creative force in the natural setting. To view her works in this show is to take an adventure into the sensuous realm of color expression and to awaken one’s sensibilities.” 1
James Rottman Fine Art carries a significant inventory of historical artworks by Rita Letendre. Do not hesitate to contact us with inquiries regarding this artwork or other works by Rita Letendre.
1Frederick W. Sleight, Rita Letendre, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Exhibition Catalogue, 1974, page 1