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Sorel Etrog
Sorel Etrog

Sorel Etrog

Etrog's work dots the urban landscape in Toronto and many other urban centres in Canada and shows an overriding concern for the human body's transformation in an increasingly mechanized world.

Sorel Etrog (1933-2015) is a renowned Canadian sculptor and painter. He left his native Romania for Israel in 1950, where he studied at the Tel Aviv Art Institute. From Tel Aviv, he moved to New York and in 1963 to Toronto.

Etrog represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1966. He created major public commissions for Expo 67, the Sun Life Centre, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Olympic Park in Seoul, Korea, and he designed the Canadian Film Awards' statuette (originally known as the "Etrog"). His drawings and watercolours explore mechanics and biology: mechanistic bodies, wrench-shaped hands, pure machines, blends, labyrinths, and monsters.

Sorel Etrog: Five Decades was published in 2013 to accompany the last major retrospective exhibition of his work. It includes his archetypal sculptures as well as drawings, paintings, book illustrations, and prints, as well as images from his rarely seen film, Spiral. The book also includes texts by Ihor Holubizky and critics Gary Michael Dault and Florian Rodari, as well as Marshall McLuhan, Sir Philip Hendy, Theodore Allen Heinrich, and William J. Withrow that explore the depth and range of his work.

Etrog's work is included in major collections worldwide, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris; the Museo Novecento, Florence; and the Tate Gallery, London.


Ihor Holubizky is an art historian and curator. He has held several public gallery curatorial positions, including curator at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton and has been guest curator for retrospective exhibitions of Don Jean-Louis, Walter Tandy Murch, and Kazao Nakamura at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa. Holubizky holds a PhD in art history from the University of Queensland, Australia, and has contributed writing to numerous publications on historical, modern, and contemporary topics in art and culture in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. He lectures on a wide range of topics across Canada, the United States, Brazil, and Australia.



Award-winning artist Sorel Etrog is a true Canadian treasure, with a career that spanned over 50 years. Etrog represented Canada at the 1966 Venice Biennale and had received many important commissions from EXPO '67, the Sunlife Centre Toronto, and Olympic Park Seoul, Korea. In 1968, he designed the Canadian Film Award, more commonly known as the Genie Award. He collaborated on books with Eugène Ionesco and Samuel Beckett, and his film Spiral was shown on CBC in 1975. Etrog was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1994 and was made a Chevalier of Arts and Letters by the Government of France in 1996. His work resides in a number of permanent collections, including the Tate Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon Guggenheim in New York, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Musée National d'Art Modern in Paris, the Tel-Aviv Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada. He died in 2014.

128 pages
Pub date: August 9, 2013