By the early 1970s, Rita Letendre’s cuneiform, or beamed-shaped, hard-edge paintings had already become her hallmark, and she would go on to develop an innovative airbrush painting technique. Sun Song, Tel-Aviv, painted in 1969 while Letendre was living in Israel, manifests clear-sightedness and a bold, frontal dexterity and sensitivity. She appeals to the same emotion in her pieces of the 1960s, which she reinterprets here in a linear and geometric space. The vanishing point literally rests on the lower edge of the canvas, suggesting a certain influence, or even a fertile shift into a parallel world. At the time, Letendre said that she “made lots of lines near the base of the arrow to create a feeling of vibration, that must vibrate into space, the eternal space.”
A companion piece to the spectacularly large (217.5 cm × 369.2 cm) acrylic on canvas Sun Song (1969, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec), the more modest-sized Sun Song, Tel-Aviv owes much of its power and presence to the former’s imposing stature. These twin pieces, in both their composition and their palette, possess the same luminous twilight quality, rendered in spectral beams of yellow, orange, brown, and black. The larger Sun Song was featured in the 2003 exhibition Rita Letendre: Aux couleurs du jour at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.