LOT 028

1928 -

Midnight Light
acrylic on canvas
signed and dated 1970 and on verso signed, titled and dated
40 1/8 x 60 1/8 in 101.9 x 152.7 cm

Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

Preview at: Heffel Montreal

Galerie du Siècle, Montreal
Private Collection, Montreal

Born of Abenaki and Québécois parents, Rita Letendre was introduced to Paul-Émile Borduas and the Automatists during her studies at l’École des beaux-arts de Montréal. Their expressive and intuitive approach to art inspired Letendre, who was interested in creative exploration rather than the traditional methods taught at l’École. Later, her works were shown alongside the Automatists in pivotal exhibitions such as La matière chante in 1954 and Espace 1955, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. From then on, she dedicated herself entirely to painting and to the possibilities of abstraction.

In the late 1960s through the 1970s, Letendre moved away from Automatist gesture and expression to a hard-edge and geometric abstraction. During that period, she developed what became known as her flèches (arrows). Strong diagonal lines activate the surface of her works, creating a dynamic impression of movement. Midnight Light, a work from this series, is a fine example. In this evocatively titled painting, Letendre created a sharp arrow that slices through the composition from left to right – or bursts from right to left. Over a purple background, the arrow’s edges shimmer in a chromatic variation of navy blue, greys, cobalt and a sliver of lavender. Midnight Light is an explosive vector of cool hues, taut with energy.

Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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