LOT 027

1928 - 2021

Sans titre
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1961
25 x 29 in, 63.5 x 73.7 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000 CAD

Sold for: $133,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Acquired by the present Private Collection, Montreal, circa 1961

Rita Letendre was introduced to Paul-Émile Borduas and the Automatists during her studies at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal. They made a huge impact on her practice, as her interest in creative exploration was much more in tune with their expressive and intuitive approach to art than the traditional methods taught at l’École. She eventually left the school and went on to show her works alongside the Automatists in pivotal exhibitions such as La matière chante in 1954 and Espace 55 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. From then on, she dedicated herself entirely to painting and exploring the possibilities of abstraction.

Letendre’s works from the early 1960s are highly indebted to the Automatists’ revolutionary and expressive approach to abstraction - they are spirited and intense, as is the stunning Sans titre. In this compelling oil on canvas, Letendre skilfully arranges thick slabs of colour with her palette knife, building a complex composition of black, white, grey, cobalt, sage and touches of crimson. Her brushwork here is remarkably unrestrained; it showcases the full range and quality of her gestures, while revealing the materiality of her medium.

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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