A walk towards Davisville subway station on a grey day.

below: At the corner of Mt Pleasant and Davisville stands the sculpture ‘Wind Bird’ by Sorel Etrog.  Etrog (1933-1914) was a Canadian artist, writer and sculptor.

 

a bronze sculpture of a thin figure with short arms reaching up. stylized, almost abstract. no facial features on the head that seems to be looking upwards

I have passed this little figure many times and today I finally decided to take some pictures of it and make a walk of it.  I have always thought that she was a forlorn little creature.   With her arms outstretched, empty,  reaching for something that never appears.  She needs a hug or at least a  warm scarf to keep the chill away.

below: After leaving Wind Bird empty handed yet again, I walked west towards Yonge Street.  Off the street and amongst some trees I saw this sculpture.   It is one that I have never noticed before.  A collection of metal pieces is suspended from the top of a lopsided metal frame, more parallelogram than rectangle.

rust coloured metal sculpture in front an apartment building. The sculpture is a large metal frame that looks like a cube but made of parallelograms and from the top is suspended a bunch of metal pieces.

below: On closer inspection, the metal bits are actually flat human forms with their heads in the center and feet flung outwards as if spinning around a central axis.  I know enough physics to know that either centrifugal force or centripetal forces (or both) are at play here.  But I don’t know enough to know the right answer.

close up of a sculpture of flat metal people shapes, forming a circle with their heads, their feet sticking out like in a centrifuge.

below:  Next door are these two metal shapes.  There isn’t much to it, is there?  What it does have is it’s own little park area and walkway.  I didn’t have to get my shoes muddy if I wanted to get closer.

A sculpture that is just two rectangular metal boxes upright, joined together and on a slight angle. In a small park in front of an apartment building at 141 Davisville in Toronto

below: There is a path that ran on the west side of the above building, 141 Davisville, to Balliol Street.   This tall sculpture stands beside the path.  I am not sure who the artist is.  Is it a couple embracing? Or a totem pole of abstract forms?  Or just something that looked good to the artist’s eye?

tall columnar sculpture somewhat resembling a totem pole, all in grey, beside some trees in front of an apartment building.

below:  Next, from across Balliol, this sculpture caught my eye.  It is ‘Grand Odalisque’ by Sorel Etrog.

Grand Odalisque, a sculpture by Sorel Etrog sits on a wood pedestal in front of the entrance to an apartment building.

below: I’m rarely satisfied with photos taken of public art in front of buildings.  The background is always to cluttered or messy.   I played with various angles for ‘Grand Odalisque’ and I found this one.  The sculpture is quite phallic now that I look at it.

Grand Odalisque, a sculpture by Sorel Ertog sits on a wood pedestal . Looking across Balliol from behind the sculpture. The scene across the street is a few men standing in front of a construction site where a new condo is being built

The phallic nature of the sculpture is possibly ironic .  Odalisque has a few meanings and connotations, but all involve women.  In fact, ‘La Grande Odalisque’ is a famous painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in 1814.  In French, ‘grande’ is the feminine form of the adjective and ‘grand’ is the masculine.  Ingres used ‘grande’ for his female nude and Etrog used ‘grand’ for his sculpture.  Is there a connection?  Or just my imagination?

below: La Grande Odalisque.  You’ll have to visit the Louvre in Paris if you want to see the painting.

picture of the painting 'La Grande Odalisque' by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1814

The next stop along Davisville was the Al Green Sculpture Garden.  Al Green was a builder,  a founder of Greenrock Property Management, and in later life a sculptor.   It makes sense then that the small garden that bears his name, and is home to some of his sculptures, is between two of Greenrock’s apartment buildings.

below: ‘Leaning Torso’ by Al Green.

Al Green sculpture

below: ‘Embrace’ by Al Green

Al Green sculpture, The Embrace

below: ‘Landing Sculpture’ by Carl Lander (aka Carl Bucher), 1970.  They look like little red spaceships hovering in the air, or as the name suggests, coming in for landing.  Father and son alien ships come for a visit.
Lander (1935-2015) was a Swiss artist who lived in Canada for a couple of years in the early 1970s.

sculpture in front of an apartment building, two red shiny things that look like alien spaceships

below: Another sculpture by Sorel Etrog in the foreground.  Behind it is ‘Greenwin’ by Maryon Kantaroff, commissioned in 1973 by Greenwin Developments.

two tall thin sculptures, one by Sorel Etrog in the foreground and a greenish bronze by Kantaroff in the background.

And last, and very definitely least….

below:  You tell me.  Christmas balls on top of a fence?

three silver Christmas ball ornaments are attached to the top of a chain link fence

below:  Once you’ve figured out the whys and the wherefores of the above, you’ll be happy to know that there is another mystery.  A bagel?  A donut?  Squirrel food? Bird food?  But also a  ring?
These are on the fence that runs between Yonge St and the subway line near Davisville station.

a moldy partially eaten bagel or donut sits on top of a fence pole on a chain link fence

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Comments
  1. Bob Georgiou says:

    La Grande Odalisque…hmm, now I know. Thanks for this.

  2. icelandpenny says:

    I hadn’t realized how many Etrogs were clustered in that area — thanks for your sharp eyes, and way with a camera!

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