Small Chair (Hand)

More Works By Sorel Etrog Bronze
17.25 × 9.25 × 9.25 in 43.82 × 23.5 × 23.5 cm

About Small Chair (Hand)

Pierre Restany, Sorel Etrog, Munich, 2002, page 77
Florian Rodari, "Secret Paths, 1999-2000" in Ihor Holubizky (ed.), Sorel Etrog: Five Decades, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, page 103

Sorel Etrog broke both legs and badly injured his right hand as a result of a life-threatening car accident in 1967. For a sculptor who prided himself on his mastery of the technical ins-and-outs of sculpture, the prospect of losing his dexterity was devastating. As he slowly recovered, he became fascinated with the human hand, a motif that dominated much of his work from the late 1960s.

“Small Chair (Hand)” Edition 3/7 is a fine example of this motif. This major work demonstrates how the artist explored the intricate mechanism of the hand, yet envisioned it as distorted and damaged with fingers knotted and thus immobilized. Transforming the hand into a chair, Etrog further insisted on the inability of the appendage to function—it could carry weight but not perform even the most rudimentary action.

Dr. Alma Mikulinsky is an art historian and curator whose latest book Sorel Etrog: Life and Work was published in 2020 by Art Canada Institute. An authority on European Avant-Garde; her texts on Pablo Picasso were commissioned by leading museums such as Tate Modern and the Museé National Picasso-Paris. She opened two exhibitions this fall: Links as Bones: Sorel Etrog and the Fragile Body at the Art Gallery of Windsor and Guernica Remastered at Remai Modern.

Private Collection, Port Saint Lucie, FL