Born in Kimberly, BC, Milly Ritsvedt studied at the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr Institute), and received her MA in Art History at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
Ritsvedt describes her paintings in this way: “The nature of my art is to resist words; a consequence of the basic premise of freedom of interpretation offered by abstract art, and my enduring belief in colour in painting as a language that can speak to the mind, body and soul. Colour has been central to my explorations in painting from the beginning. It has a dual (and magical) identity as elusive, optical sensation and physical, material substance that compels me to explore its expressive possibilities.”
Her work was included in the 7th Biennial of Canadian Painting at the National Gallery of Canada and the 3rd International Pioneer Galleries Exhibition at Musee Cantonal, Lausanne and Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris during this period. During a three-year period in Montreal, from 1970 to 1973, Ristvedt was a founding member of Véhicule Art Inc., the first artist-run centre in Montreal, and had a solo exhibition at the Musee d’art contemporain de Montréal.
Ristvedt’s abstract, acrylic canvases are held in private, corporate and public collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and Harvard University.