Sorel Etrog (1933-2014) is best known for his abstracted figurative sculpture, some of it currently on exhibition at Winchester Galleries in Victoria, B.C. (above). Etrog was a towering figure in Canadian modern art, as well as an accomplished writer.
Transplanted from Romania, he adopted Toronto and left a legacy of public sculptures across Canada. He also created a cultural icon with his Genie statuette for the Canadian Film Award (1968-see note at end of post). His huge Sun Life is a Toronto meeting place and other of his works are landmarks. You’ve likely seen them if you’ve walked downtown.
Mount Sinai Hospital filled a new 2,500-sq.ft Wellness Center with his figures (below).
A poet and writer, Etrog was deeply influenced by Surrealism, and known for his existentialism, a hallmark of his approach to all his art.
Across his work, writes art history expert Dr. Robert Belton, Etrog’s imagery “conjures a vision of the artist’s continuing preoccupation with existentialist metaphors of birth/death, joy/sorrow, and muteness.” Much more information on Etrog is covered in this Art Gallery of Ontario video, produced for a retrospective on his life’s work. .
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Notes for the exhibition at Winchester Galleries, here.
The Art Gallery of Ontario page on Etrog, here.
The Canadian Encyclopedia entry on Sorel Etrog, here.
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**NOTE: The Genies & Geminis have since been merged to create the Canadian Screen Awards. This is the new statuette, replacing Ertog’s original Genie. Thanks to blogging colleague Resa at Graffiti Lux and Murals for helping me to clarify this.