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Sorel Etrog (born 29 August 1933 in Iaşi, Romania – died 26 February 2014 in Toronto, Ontario) was a renowned Canadian sculptor and painter. He left his native Romania for Israel in 1950 where he studied at the Tel Aviv Art Institute. His first solo exhibition was in Tel Aviv in 1958, which earned him a scholarship at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. In 1959, Etrog had his first Canadian solo exhibition at gallery Moos in Toronto. Leaving New York for Toronto in 1963, Etrog became a Canadian citizen and in 1966 represented Canada at the Venice Biennale.
Since the late 1950s until the present Sorel Etrog’s work has been exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and internationally. Select solo exhibitions include: Gallery Moos, Toronto; Dominion Gallery, Montreal; Dunkelman gallery, Toronto; Evelyn Aimis Gallery, Toronto; Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto; Marlborough Godard Gallery, Toronto; Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver; Rose Fried Gallery, New York; Martha Jackson Gallery, New York; Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York; Marlborough Gallery, New York; Valley House Gallery, Dallas; Hokin Gallery, Palm Beach; Felix Landau Gallery; Los Angeles; Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Schneider Gallery, Rome; Springer gallery, Berlin; Hanover gallery, London; Naviglio Gallery, Milan; Galerie d’Eendt, Amsterdam; Centre Culturel Canadien, Paris; and the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore. His work has been part of many group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; The Carnegie International, Pittsburg; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture garden, Washington, D.C.; Palazzo Vecchio, Florence; Musee des Beaux-Arts, Le Havre; Musee Rodin, Paris; Kuntsmuseum, Basel; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Etrog’s work is represented in major capitals and cities of the world and is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the University of California, Los Angeles; Kuntsmuseum, Basel; Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterlo, Holland; Musee d’Arte Moderne, Paris; Museo Internazionale d’Arte Contemporano, Florence; the Tate Gallery, London.
Etrog has 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 1968 Etrog was commissioned to design the Canadian Film Award that was originally named the “Etrog” and later renamed the “Genie”.
Sorel Etrog is also well known for his writings and published plays, poetry and non-fiction. Of his many collaborations, the most acclaimed are his book illustrations for Eugene Ionesco and Samuel Beckett in the late 1960s. Sorel Etrog and Marshall McLuhan collaborated on the publication Spiral that was drawn from Etrog’s film of the same title, which was broadcast in 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 will be exhibited in March 2008 at Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver.
Sorel Etrog was appointed 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 last exhibition, simply titled Sorel Etrog, took place in 2013 when The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) celebrated him with a career-spanning exhibition that lasted April 27, 2013 to Sept. 29, 2013. It was located in the AGO’s Signy Eaton Gallery, and it featured 103 works that included sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints, film, published writings and archival footage from the artist’s studio.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
Gallery Moos, Toronto
Dominion Gallery, Montreal
Dunkelman gallery, Toronto
Evelyn Aimis Gallery, Toronto
Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto
Marlborough Godard Gallery, Toronto
Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver
Rose Fried Gallery, New York
Martha Jackson Gallery, New York
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
Marlborough Gallery, New York
Valley House Gallery, Dallas
Hokin Gallery, Palm Beach
Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles
Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
Schneider Gallery, Rome
Springer gallery, Berlin
Hanover gallery, London
Naviglio Gallery, Milan
Galerie d’Eendt, Amsterdam
Centre Culturel Canadien, Paris
Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
The Carnegie International, Pittsburg
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture garden, Washington, D.C.
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Le Havre
Musee Rodin, Paris
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris