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Sorel Etrog was born in Iaşi, Romania, in 1933. This Canadian artist, writer, and philosopher is most well known for his work as a sculptor. Etrog began formal art training in 1945 and continued his studies in Israel in 1953 at the Institute of Painting and Sculpture in Tel Aviv. He had his first solo exhibition there in 1958, which earned him a scholarship at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. In 1959, Etrog met Toronto art collector Samuel Zacks, a meeting which led to his first Canadian solo exhibition, at Gallery Moos in Toronto.
Etrog moved to Toronto in 1963 and became a Canadian citizen. He was one of three artists chosen to represent Canada at the 1966 Venice Biennale. His many commissions include works for Expo ‘67, the SunLife Centre in Toronto, the Windsor Sculpture Garden, the Los Angeles County Museum and the Olympic Park in Seoul, Korea. In 1968 Etrog was commissioned to design the ‘Genie’ statuette, Canadian Film Award (originally named the ‘Etrog’). He also illustrated the works of Eugene Ionesco and Samuel Beckett in the late 1960s.
Etrog was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 1994 and was made a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France in 1996. His work is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the University of California (Los Angeles), the Kuntsmuseum (Basel), the Kroller-Muller Museum (Holland), the Musée d’Art Moderne (Paris), the Museo Internazionale d’Arte Contemporano (Florence) and the Tate Gallery (London).