August 29, 1933|
Iaşi, Kingdom of Romania
|Died||February 26, 2014
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Education||Institute of Painting and Sculpture, Tel Aviv; Brooklyn Museum of Art|
|Known for||Sculpture, painting, writing, book illustration|
|Awards||Order of Canada, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres|
Sorel Etrog, CM (August 29, 1933 – February 26, 2014) was a Romanian-born Canadian artist, writer, and philosopher best known for his work as a sculptor. He specialised in modern art works and contemporary sculpture.
Born in Iaşi, Romania, in 1933, Etrog's formal art training began in 1945. In 1950, his family immigrated to Israel, where beginning in 1953 he studied at the Institute of Painting and Sculpture in Tel Aviv. His first solo exhibition in Tel Aviv in 1958 earned him a scholarship at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City. In 1959, a meeting with Toronto art collector Samuel Zacks led to Etrog's first Canadian solo exhibition, at Gallery Moos in Toronto. Leaving New York for Toronto in 1963, Etrog became a Canadian citizen.
Since the late 1950s, Etrog's work has been exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and internationally.
Etrog's work is represented in major capitals and cities all over the world. He received several important commissions, including those for Expo 67, Montreal; SunLife Centre, Toronto; Windsor Sculpture Garden, Windsor, Ontario; Los Angeles County Museum and Olympic Park in Seoul Korea. In 1966, works by Etrog along with those of Alex Colville and Yves Gaucher represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. In 1968 Etrog was commissioned to design the Canadian Film Award that was originally named the "Etrog" and later renamed the "Genie".
Etrog is also known for his writings and published plays, poetry and non-fiction. Of his many collaborations, the most acclaimed are his book illustrations for Eugène Ionesco and Samuel Beckett in the late 1960s. Etrog and Marshall McLuhan collaborated on the publication Spiral, drawn from Etrog’s film of the same title which was broadcast on CBC television in 1975.
Numerous reviews, articles, monographs and catalogue texts have been written about Etrog, including Pierre Restany’s comprehensive textbook published by Prestel 2001. A major exhibition of Etrog’s paintings and drawing of the 1960s was exhibited in March 2008 at Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver.
Death and legacy
He died in February 26, 2014, aged 80. The Jay & Barbara Hennick Family Wellness Centre at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, includes close to 100 pieces as part of its health and well-being intervention program.
- Member of the Order of Canada, 1994
- Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Government of France, 1996
- Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
- Hargittay, Clara. "Sorel Etrog". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- "Past Canadian Exhibitions". National Gallery of Canada at the Venice Biennale. National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "Sorel Etrog, towering figure in Canadian Modern art, dies at 80". The Toronto Star.
- "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- Belton, Robert (1996). "Etrog, Sorel". In Jane Turner. The Dictionary of Art. 10. London: Macmillan. p. 582. ISBN 1-884446-00-0.
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