Sunbird II

Bronze, 1963
20.5 x 8 x 8.25 in (52.1 x 20.3 x 21 cm)



Sorel Etrog

1933 - 2014

One of Canada’s most important sculptors, Sorel Etrog was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 1994, and Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France in 1996; 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, among others. He was born in Romania and came of age under Nazi occupation. His family were Jewish and made a modest living in the city of Iaşi. His father Moriţ opened a restaurant and supported his family despite harsh times. Etrog’s grandfather was a carpenter and he was fond of a local bookshop owner who leant books to the community and painted in his free time. A coup in 1940 saw the Romanian government align itself with the Nazis, leading to an increase in deadly anti-Semitism. Etrog’s father was one of the only male survivors of the devastating 1941 Iaşi Pogrom, which decimated the city’s Jewish community.  A young Etrog was fascinated by his grandfather working as a carpenter, and as such his sculptures were conceived with attention to both construction, architecture and the societies that required and revolved around these structures. The artist describes his art as “tension created by pulling together and pulling apart, with being stuck and being freed, a world of grabbing and holding on and losing hold… bringing shapes together but at the same time giving each an independence.” 

Etrog designed Canada’s top film award in 1968, “the Genie” statuette (which was known as “the Etrog” until 1980) and has collaborated with artists such as Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, John Cage and Marshall McLuhan. He 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.  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; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Havre; Musée Rodin, Paris; Kunstmuseum, Basel; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

More work by Sorel Etrog

painted bronze, circa 1973
13.75 x 2.75 x 2.5 in (34.9 x 7 x 6.4 cm)


Bronze, 1965
31.5 x 13.5 x 7 in (80 x 34.3 x 17.8 cm)


Bronze, 1958
18.5 x 12 x 19.5 in (47 x 30.5 x 49.5 cm)


Bronze, 1969
8 x 7 x 3.5 in (20.3 x 17.8 x 8.9 cm)


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