1933 - 2014
Night Guard No. II
wood sculpture, 1959
on verso signed and titled "The Nightguard" and dated 1960 on the gallery label
25 x 45 1/2 x 1 1/4 in 63.5 x 115.6 x 3.2 cm
Gallery Moos, Toronto
Theodore Allen Heinrich, The Painted Constructions 1952 - 1960 of Sorel Etrog, 1968,listed page 74 and reproduced page 79, catalogue #42
Please note: this work was not included in the Moos exhibition shown in the additional images for this Lot
Sorel Etrog's seminal relief constructions are neither strictly paintings, nor sculptures in the traditional sense. When Walter Moos was asked what about Etrog’s wood pieces appealed to him, he explained, “The composition. The way they are made. They are very completed works of art. They are essentially pictures without a frame.” Etrog expressed that these works were born out of his dissatisfaction working with the canvas. He explained, “This way I could extend even further the irregular frame and the raised contours outlining shape and colour. Inner and outer space interacted… I was very focused and disciplined and nothing could move me away from the direction I’d taken. I recognized quite early that endurance is the life support of the artist.”In his definitive monograph, Theodore Heinrich provides the following passage dedicated to Night Guard No.II:
“Growing familiarity with power tools in cutting the panels shows in the increasing scale and boldness of outline, which is here breaking well out of any conceivable fixed perimeter and rises from a sharply pointed base. The attitude is clearly becoming more and more sculptural without any diminution of respect for planar integrity. A dart broadened to a triangle close to isosceles in shape penetrates the whole way through the largest form, as does the blade of a boomerang shape continuing one leg of the triangle out the opposite side. This piece is much more accomplished and serious than its predecessors of similar title. The predominantly dark colours are effectively relieved by the small but telling accents. The upper part of the major form is the largest single area to appear in any construction so far and is extremely rich in its textural treatment. Another new feature is the lightening of tone in the areas adjacent to the blue eye. This is the earliest sign of the introduction the following winter of collage with bits of burlap or gauze. The design was apparently not arrived at easily: The piece was preceded by at least six watercolor studies while the artist was working out adjustments of the opposing forces. The effort resulted in a work of majestic stability.”
Please click here to view a video of Walter Moos discussing the life and work of Sorel Etrog.
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