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LOT 028

1928 -

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1963 and on verso signed, titled, dated and inscribed "No: 8 Ramat Gan"
25 3/4 x 32 in 65.4 x 81.3 cm

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

Sold for: $52,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Masters Gallery Ltd., Calgary
Private Collection, Calgary

Rita Letendre met Paul-Émile Borduas and the Automatists while studying at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in her early 20s. The group’s intuitive approach to painting strongly resonated with the young student and she quickly, and exclusively, dedicated her practice to abstraction. Letendre exhibited with the Automatists throughout the 1950s, including in the pivotal exhibition La matière chante (1954), organized by Borduas.

Lutte is a fiercely expressive composition from a dynamic period early in Letendre’s career. Having secured a Canada Council grant, from 1962 to 1963, Letendre traveled to Western Europe and Israel. Lutte was painted in Ramat Gan, a municipality near Tel Aviv. By then Letendre’s style had begun to move away from mosaic-like compositions to favour broader planes of colour. Experimenting with the bounds of gesture, her minimal palette achieves dramatic results. The striking contrast between bright and dark hues is further intensified by varying weights of paint application, ranging from heavy impasto in the fluorescing orange vortex to thinly scraped black flecked with red.

Letendre’s monumental Atara (1963), in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, bears a striking resemblance to Lutte.

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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