RITA LETENDRE, R.C.A.
oil on canvas
signed and indistinctly dated ‘62 (?)
24 ins x 30 ins; 61 cms x 76.2 cms
In 1962, Rita Letendre made her first trip to Europe – spending periods in Italy, Paris and Israel until the autumn of the following year. During this time, she experienced a period of intense creativity and a radical advancement in her style. Employing thick masses of paint in limited palettes, Letendre began to provoke the viewer: stirring within them a quiet fervour, an emotional skirmish. In describing canvases created on this sojourn, Anne-Marie Ninacs states that, “thick black masses (are) brought to life by the spatula – engag(ing) in a struggle with the colour-light that attempts to surge out from it, a struggle one surmises will not soon be over. The main weapon in this duel, if that is what it is, is surely the painting knife, which Letendre uses to make the thick layers of coloured paint interpenetrate in a ‘high-risk’ work method that enables her to keep all the energy of spontaneity in the finished work.” L’Innomable, The Unnamable, splits scarlet space with black, white and green, titled by the artist despite its resistance to be named.
Anne-Marie Ninacs “The Teaching of Life” in Rita Letendre: Aux couleurs du jour, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Québec, 2004, page 134.
Ladies Committee, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Exhibition and Sale
Private Collection, Toronto