Ted Egri (1913-2010)
He was born (1913) and raised in New York City. He was a painter until he moved to Taos 1950 where he became involved in sculpture. His feelings about social injustice found release through the violent pounding with hammer and chisel. Later he became intrigued with form in space, and he developed along these lines with his personal sculptural statements as well as commissioned pieces.
Ted Egri has had over 30 one-man shows in nine states, exhibiting painting and sculpture, besides showing in numerous juried exhibitions.
Ted created his first painting by the time he was nine. He would go on to study art at the Master Institute of the Roerich Museum, the Duncan Philips Memorial Gallery Art School, the Orzenfant School of Art and the Hans Hofmann School of Art. He taught art at several schools including the University of Illinois, Northern Iowa University, the University of Wyoming, and the Kansas City Art Institute. He has worked with and encouraged many of the artists in Taos. Ted has completed over a score of major sculpture commissions and has had his work included in numerous and memorable one person and group exhibitions. He and his wife, the writer and former Stables Art Gallery Director, Kit Egri, moved to Taos in 1950. In 1996, he was the recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Ted has always been interested in putting together connections among art mediums and among people. He wrote in 1951, "I am combining painting and sculpture with the hope of integrating all arts and craft techniques with sculpture." This is equally true of his championing artists who haven't received the deserved recognition - Native American, Hispanic, young persons starting out, older, neglected ones, modernists of all stripes, etc... The number of exhibitions he has organized or assisted on, slide shows for Elder Hostel and other groups are too numerous to keep track of.
Activity and motion are the operative words here for both his life and his art. Alfred Frankenstein, writer for the San Francisco Chronicle said of him, "To my eye, he is the best in painting that involves swift, dynamic movement. He has a gift for the racy, the eruptive, and the swift achieved by means of shrewdly counter pointed forms and well handed dissonance in color."
His art varies from flowing abstractions to the highly political, often speaking to issues of oppressed or even tormented humankind. This is not to say that the work is either gloomy or macabre, for it is not. The forms, even those constructed from substantial metals are filled with a sense of motion, sometimes the motion of distress, sometimes that of fantasy. Santa Fe artist and art critic Alfred Mooring wrote about this: "Egri has studied the illusion of movement and is able to suggest movement by handling broken forms against broken forms. He has used certain principles of the Italian Futurists with a good deal of skill. Angles are important to this artist; they add strength and augment the softer rhythms of curves. It is the basis of abstraction that makes even his more objective work live with inner movement."
David L. Witt, Curator, The Harwood Museum, Taos, NM
Selected Sculpture Commissions: Victor Higgins Memorial, Sierra Vista Cemetery, Taos, NM ? Taos Plaza Cross Design, Gift of the War Mother of Veterans of WWII Batallion ? Pipe Dream, Cabot Plaza, Taos, NM ? Hand of Friendship, Central & Tramway Park, Albuquerque, NM ? Eternal Light, Eight wall sculptures, Menorah, Temple B'Nai Israel, Albuquerque, NM ? Trajectory, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, TX ? Strange Romance, General Packaging Corp., Richardson, TX ? Dance of Youth, Albuquerque, NM ? Impact of Experience, Northern Iowa University Campus, Cedar Fall, IA ? Sea Song, Santa Monica, CA ? Seven Branched Menorah, Temple Sinai, Champaign, IL ? Ark, Menorahs, Memorial Light, Lecterns, Ark, Harzion Temple, Phoenix, AZ ? Moses and the People, Jewish Community Façade, Scranton, PA ? Tree of Life Menorah, Temple Shalom, Dallas, TX ? Ark Doors, Eternal Light, Lectern, Temple Mount Sinai, El Paso, TX ? Comedy and Tragedy, Baylor University, Waco, TX ? Saint Mary, Ave Maria Church, Parker, CO ? Frank Waters Memorial, Taos, NM ? Pages Around The World, Taos Public Library, Taos, NM
Ted Egri died on November 26, 2010 in Taos, New Mexico.