RITA LETENDRE | TORONTO PUBLIC ART 
YYretroZpective
ORGANIZED BY ADAM LAUDER
SATURDAY 26 MAY 2018 – SATURDAY 21 JULY 2018

KRISTA BELLE STEWARTA GUEST A HOST A GHOST
SATURDAY 26 MAY – SATURDAY 21 JULY 2018

OPENING RECEPTION
FRIDAY 25 MAY 2018, 6:00PM-8:00PM

RITA LETENDRE | TORONTO PUBLIC ART 
YYretroZpective
ORGANIZED BY ADAM LAUDER
SATURDAY 26 MAY 2018- SATURDAY 21 JULY 2018

For years, RITA LETENDRE’s public art cut radiant vectors across Toronto’s urban grid. After decades living in Montréal and California, Letendre relocated to Toronto in 1970. Through a combination of public and private commissions for monumental murals and large-scale canvases, the artist, who is of Abenaki/Québecois and Mohawk/Québecois ancestry, quickly made her mark on the notoriously generic public spaces of her adoptive hometown. By the decade’s close, her signature “arrow” paintings—hard-edge, iridescent abstractions—were a daily sight for thousands of Torontonians. Yet, through a combination of misadventure and neglect, Letendre’s once ubiquitous and cherished public art works steadily vanished, beginning with Sunrise (1971), her dazzling, seven-floor mural for Ryerson’s Neill Wycik residence, which was permanently obscured when an adjacent 25-story residential tower was erected in 1978, leaving only a 10-inch gap between the two buildings. Duane Linklater, an artist of Omaskêko Cree heritage whose projects excavate subterranean narratives of Indigenous presence and resilience, has interpreted the disappearance of Letendre’s public art in Toronto as a symptom of the historic dispossession of Indigenous peoples.

Rita Letendre | Toronto Public Art is the first exhibition focused on Letendre’s Toronto public art. It reunites the recently-restored Sunrise II (1972)—an imposing sequel to the obscured Neill Wycik mural—with Ixtepec (1977), the basis for Letendre’s forthcoming Joy, a reinterpretation of the artist’s 1978 skylight for Glencairn subway station, which was de-installed following years of neglect. Supplementary documents include plans for both the original and forthcoming Glencairn projects, and a new video interview with the 90-year-old artist.

YYZ acknowledges the support of Galerie Gevik (Toronto), Galerie Simon Blais (Montréal), and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.

ADAM LAUDER is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at York University in Toronto. He obtained a Ph.D. from The Department of History of Art at the University of Toronto in Fall 2016. He is currently researching Canadian information art in the 1970s. Since 2009, he has curated and co-curated exhibitions for a variety of museum and university art gallery venues. He has also contributed articles to scholarly journals including AmodernArt DocumentationCanadian Journal of CommunicationFuture AnteriorImaginationsJournal of Canadian StudiesTechnoetic ArtsThe Journal of Canadian Art HistoryTOPIA and Visual Resources as well as features and shorter texts to magazines including Art HandlerBorder CrossingsCCanadian Arte-fluxFlash ArtHunter and Cook and Millions. He edited H& IT ON (YYZBOOKS, 2012), featuring original art by ground-breaking information artist IAIN BAXTER&, and is the author of chapters appearing in Finding McLuhan (2015), The Logic of Nature, The Romance of Space (2010) as well as Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices (YYZBOOKS, 2010).

Adam Lauder would like to acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

KRISTA BELLE STEWARTA GUEST A HOST A GHOST
SATURDAY 26 MAY – SATURDAY 21 JULY 2018

Krista Belle Stewart brings to YYZ dirt from her home in the Okanagan Nation and from Seoul, South Korea, both collections beautifully housed in ceramic containers. Stewart will explore our immediate environment for a possible addition to her growing soil archive, which acts as a travelling reminder of her home and grounding Stewart to where she stands.

KRISTA BELLE STEWART holds an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Her work engages with the complexities of archival material through processes that allow for both intimacy and coincidence and for the atemporal meeting of actors across time. Working with video, photography, design, ephemera and textiles, Stewart straddles the gaps between personal and institutional histories through transparent mediation. Stewart’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; Plug In ICA, Winnipeg; House of World Cultures, Berlin; International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York; Vancouver Art Gallery; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Mercer Union, Toronto; Artspeak, Vancouver; the Western Front, Vancouver; and Esker Foundation, Calgary. She is a member of the Upper Nicola Band of the Okanagan Nation and lives and works in Vancouver.

Krista Belle Stewart gratefully acknowledges the support of the British Columbia Arts Council. She would like to thank Steven Cottingham for writing a text for the exhibition.