In our recurring feature What’s the Meaning of This?, we explain what those public-art installations you walk by every day are supposed to represent. This week: The story behind Toronto’s biggest high-five.
Name of installation: The Hand
Artist: Sorel Etrog
Location: 55 University Ave.
Date of display: 1972
What’s it supposed to be?: Romanian-born, Canadian artist Sorel Etrog has nearly two dozen pieces of public art scattered around the GTA area, and his unique work—usually consisting of large, manipulated strips of bronze—is easily recognizable. The Hand is a perfect example that bears some of Etrog’s hallmarks. Consisting of an open hand standing upright, the installation features bronze fingers that are looped to each other to highlight one of Ertog’s most common themes: integration. The sculpture typifies Etrog’s theory on his own work: that it represents “tension created by pulling together and pulling apart,” and a similar style can be seen in what is perhaps the artist’s best-known sculpture, the Genie Award.