Canadian Art

Sorel Etrog: A Canadian Art Pioneer

Sorel Etrog was a revered pioneer in the world of Canadian art, and his well-loved sculptures and other pieces are revered as groundbreaking pieces of Canadian art history. Born in Romania, Sorel Etrog brought European influences with a Canadian style to his pieces. After discovering his passion for art as a child, he chose to attend art school in Tel Aviv, where he was exposed to some of the greatest mid-century artists in Europe. He became well acquainted with the avant-garde style and began to create abstract works with an avant-garde influence.

In 1956, Sorel Etrog participated in his first group art exhibition, which was met with critical acclaim. Sorel was quickly becoming well-known among area artists for his use of line and color that was unlike anything artists in his area had accomplished in the past. It didn't take long for him to create his first solo exhibition in Tel Aviv in 1958. This exhibition attracted so much attention to Etrog's unique works that he was offered a scholarship to study at the Brooklyn Museum Art School.

Shortly after being offered the scholarship, Etrog began to make his way across the pond, studying and creating art in the United States and Canada. Breaking onto the Canadian art scene was a huge breakthrough for Etrog. Well-known Toronto art collector Sam Zacks purchased Etrog's piece White Scaffolding, cementing Etrog as a part of the elite Canadian art crowd. From there, things only continued to grow for Etrog. Upon seeing more of his work, Zacks offered Etrog a studio space to work in Southampton, Ontario. This created Etrog's long-lasting place in Canadian art, giving him a place to create and be supported as he adjusted to Western life.