Rita Letendre: 90th Birthday Celebration & Exhibition
November 3 - 22, 2018

Official Opening & Reception on November 3rd, 2018 with the Artist Present from 2 – 4 pm. In celebration of the artist’s 90th birthday, Gallery Gevik is pleased to present a career-spanning exhibition of Letendre’s illustrious, intense and emotional abstract paintings, from the early 1950s to the present. For Letendre, art represents freedom and “escape from the here and now . . . the world isn’t only what we see or what we experience.”

Rita Letendre

Morning of the Gods
Morning of the Gods, 2007
oil on canvas, 60" × 48"
Hurl Into Space
Hurl Into Space, 1998
oil on canvas, 36" × 54"
Obstruction Totale
Obstruction Totale, 1966
acrylic on canvas, 40" × 48"
Caravane
Caravane, 1961
gouache on paper, 12" × 16"
Echoes
Echoes, 1987
oil on canvas, 48" × 72"
]Untitled/Sans Titre RL55-15
RL-55-15, 1955
casein on paper, 9¼" × 11¼"
Blues
Blues, 1972
acrylic on canvas, 50" × 60"
RL-61-15
RL-61-15, 1961
casein on paper, 9" × 12""
La Tourmente
La Tourmente, 1987
oil on canvas, 48" × 56"
Les nuitssold
Les nuits, 1962
oil on canvas, 37" × 50"
Lodestar Trail
Lodestar Trail, 1969
acrylic on canvas, 40" × 33"
Mélodie Pure
Mélodie Pure, 1954
oil on canvas panel, 12" × 16"
Untitled #16sold
RL-55-16, 1955
casein on paper, 10" × 10"
Partage de midi
Partage de midi, 1962
oil on canvas, 25" × 29"
RL-57-18
RL-57-18, 1957
ink on paper, 12" × 9"
Silent Echo II
Silent Echo II, 1968
serigraph, 25¾" × 20"
Summer's Flightsold
Summer's Flight, 1998
oil on paper, 20" × 26"
RL-62-10
RL-62-10, 1962
gouache on paper, 9" × 12"


Slideshow

Rita Letendre – Artist Biography

Rita Letendre is often considered one of the most eminent living abstract artists in Canada. Now, at 90, not only is her unique and hugely influential career about to enter its seventh decade, her joy, passion and boundless energy show no signs of waning. Gallery Gevik is excited and honored to mark this historically important occasion with a special exhibition of works spanning the artist's career and, most importantly, a birthday celebration that we look forward to sharing with all of Rita's friends and supporters.

Letendre began painting professionally in the 1950s, alongside Quebec's Les Automatistes but broke away from their artistic approach when she began to challenge the ideas of the Automatiste movement. Seeking to express an innate spiritual force, Letendre rigorously experimented with space, movement, and tension working with oils, pastels, acrylics, palette knife, and eventually the airbrush, which she began using in 1971. Her intense and vibrant colour field paintings are composed of densely applied gestural strokes, evoking raw states of emotion and restlessness, which became a trademark throughout her career.

Rita Letendre was born of Abenaki and Quebecois parents in Drummondville in 1928, and has lived in Toronto since late 1969. She received the Order of Canada in 2005, has completed commissions across Canada and the United States, and has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2017, Rita Letendre: Fire & Light, the first major museum retrospective of Letendre's work to originate outside Quebec, opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario and drew a new generation of admirers, eager to celebrate the passion for life evident in her brilliant paintings.

Daphne OdjigDaphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97. Click here for more details.

Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.


She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now open at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario until January 21st, 2018. Afterwards, it will travel to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.

This exhibition was recently on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions. (Photo credit: Kim Griffiths)

Rita LetendreGallery Gevik congratulates renowned Canadian and International abstract painter, Rita Letendre, on her first major museum retrospective exhibition outside of Québec. Rita Letendre: Fire and Light is now open until September 17, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

This exhibition, which covers Letendre's career from the 1960's to 2000's, is co-curated by Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik. The retrospective features nearly forty large-scale paintings drawn from major national public and private collections.

Letendre was widely exhibited with the artistic groups, Les Automatistes and Les Plasticiens. She has received the Governor General's Award in Visual Arts, the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, and the Orders of Canada, Ontario and Québec. Click here for more details.