One of Canada's leading female abstract painters, Rita Letendre's work is characterized by bold color palettes and a vibrant, uplifting energy. Initially associated with with Les Automatistes in Montreal (including artists such as Paul-Emile Borduas and Jean-Paul Riopelle), Letendre grew to establish her own unique style of painting that combined hard-edge abstraction with color field aesthetics. In the mid-1960s she married sculptor Kosso Eloul, after which each of their work flourished immensely.
Letendre was born in Drummondville, Quebec in 1928. In 2016 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario. She received a number of awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012; the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2010; and the Canada Senior Arts Grant in 1975. Her work is in many permanent collections at galleries and museums including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa; the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montreal; the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal; the Musée National du Québec; Concordia Art Gallery in Montreal; the Art Gallery of Vancouver; Storm King Art Center, New York; and the Long Beach Museum of Fine Arts.