LOT 008

1928 - 2021

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1963 and on verso signed, titled, dated and inscribed "No: 7 Ramat Gan"
25 1/2 x 32 in, 64.8 x 81.3 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

Sold for: $37,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Dorothy Cameron Gallery Ltd., Toronto
Private Collection, Ontario

Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik, Rita Letendre: Fire & Light, Art Gallery of Ontario, 2017, pages 13 and 14

Rita Letendre is of Abenaki, Mohawk and Québécois heritage, and she studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal. She was influenced by Paul-Émile Borduas and the Automatists, who expressed intuition and emotion through the act of painting. She stated: “I felt that Borduas and the Automatistes were creating a brand-new world, and I was fascinated by the freedom of thought and action they showed. I wanted to be a great painter…to make my contribution. It also seemed I had something to say, an overpowering rage that nothing could hold back.” Letendre was committed to abstraction, having, as she said, “discovered that the soul of a painting was not in the object represented but in the way it transmitted a sort of internalized emotion.”

During the 1960s, Letendre created gestural, emotional works like Menace, which embodied the plastic qualities of paint - texture, forms, lines and their relationship within the painting. Colour here is rich and, as was typical of this time, electric hues are contrasted with a black colour field. The paint, applied with bold knifework, builds a textural surface in which layers of paint breathe through each other. Lyrical and whirling with dynamism, Menace is a powerful work from Letendre’s early 1960s period.

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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