Rita Letendre

Rita Letendre (1928 -2021)

Homm 1975
Acrylic on canvas
121.9 x 190.5 centimeters, 48 x 72 inches

Private Collection, Montreal.

Biography : Rita Letendre was born in Drummondville in 1928 to a Quebecois mother and a father of Aboriginal origin, the eldest of a family of seven children. In 1941, she followed her parents to Montreal and took care of her brothers and sisters before working as a waitress. Starting, at the age of 19, studied at the Montreal School of Fine Arts. Close friends with Paul-Emile Borduas and the automatiste group. The exhibition La matiere chante in 1954, was a turning point for Letendre; it made her known in the art world and she went on to become one of Canadas most important abstract painters. Rita’s first husband was Montreal sculptor Ulysse Comtois and her second husband was also a sculptor, Israeli Kosso Eloul.

Rita Letendre received the Order of Canada in 2005 and was awarded the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts this year.


  • 1952-53 Groupe Automatiste, Montreal
  • 1954 La Matiere Chante, Montreal
  • 1955 Espace 55, Montreal, L Echourie, Montreal
  • 1956 Galerie L Actuelle, Montreal
  • 1957 Parma Gallery, NYC
  • 1959 Aspects of Canadian Painting, NYC; Galerie Denyse Delrue, Montreal
  • 1961 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Montreal
  • 1963 Tate Gallery, London
  • 1964 Galerie Arnaud, Paris
  • 1966 Agnes Lefort, Montreal
  • 1970 RCA, National Art Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • 1973 Musee du Quebec, PQ; Centre Culturel Canadien, Paris
  • 1989 Concordia Art Gallery
  • 1992 National Gallery of Canada, travelling exhibition
  • 2003 Musee du Quebec, PQ


  • The National Art Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal
  • Musee des Beaux-Arts, Montreal
  • Musee du Quebec, PQ
  • Musee d art de Joliette, PQ
  • Art Gallery of Vancouver
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Carleton University, Ottawa
  • Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto
  • Long Beach Museum of Fine Arts, California
  • Embassy of Canada, Rio de Janeiro

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