Sorel Etrog: Five Decades is an overview of the career of Canadian artist Sorel Etrog. Like the exhibition it accompanies at the Art Gallery of Ontario, it casts the artists in a new light in his adopted hometown of fifty-four years. The book showcases his archetypal sculptures as well as drawings, paintings, book illustrations and prints from the AGO's collection and private collections, as well as images from one of his pivotal works, the rarely seen film, Spiral. In addition to new texts by the curator Ihor Holubizky, and critics Gary Michael Dault and Florian Rodari, the book reprints important texts that have long been out of print by Marshall McLuhan, Sir Philip Hendy, Theodore Allen Heinrich, and William J. Withrow.
Sorel Etrog is best known for his abstracted figurative sculpture. The statue he created for the Canadian Film Award in 1968 is recognizable to many Canadians as theGenie, and his massive Sun Life on the northeast corner of King Street and University Avenue is a landmark for many Torontonians.
However, his lesser-known collaborations with Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco and Marshall McLuhan convey the profoundly human — and humane — aspects of an artist whose thoughts encompass sculptural and metaphorical considerations of connection, passage, relationship and continuity.
Dr. Ihor Holubizky is senior curator at the McMaster University Museum of Art in Hamilton, Ontario. He was co-curator, with Mark Cheetham, of Jack Chambers: the light from the darkness, silver paintings and film work for Museums London, and is the author of texts on Tony Scherman, John McEwen, Natalka Husar, and others.