1335 Gusdorf Rd. Suite i
Taos, NM  87571
[ 575 ]  751 - 1262  -  email: art@203fineart.com

 Ted Egri (1913-2010)

Born in New York, Egri's early training in the East had been with Howard Giles at the Master Institute of the Roerich Museum in New York, and later with Hans Hofmann.   Once WWII began, Egri signed up to serve as a map maker for the Navy, and was witness to some of the fiercest battles in the Pacific.  As an artist, he painted many important depictions of his wartime experiences and these works have all be donated to the U.S. Navel Museum.  This war time experience had a lasting influence on Egri's work throughout the years, and specifically inspired a series of sculptures made from dynamited metal materials, which were then assembled into abstracted forms, in some cases reproducing the memories of exploded gun in placements and the twisted steel of sunken war ships.

Already a practicing painter and instructor at the Kansas City Art Institute, Ted Egri came to Taos with his wife Kit in 1950 to continue his study of painting at Ribak's Taos Valley Art School on the GI Bill.  Louis Ribak quickly introduced Egri to Eulalia Emetaz, the owner of La Galleria Escondida, who gave him his first one-man show in October of 1951. At this gallery, one of the first and only contemporary galleries in Taos, Egri's paintings hung along side other modern artists, Edward Corbett, Clay Spohn, Oli Sihvonen, Patrocino Barela, Louis Ribak, Bea Mandelman, Earl Stroh, Robert Ray, Robert McChesney, Richard Diebenkorn and many others important artists of the time.  Egri was always very involved in the arts, as an artist, organizer, advocate and promote. The first exhibition he organized showcased the work of  the earlier founding Taos artist Victor Higgins. He was also a strongly outspoken advocate for including Native American, Hispanic and women artists in the Taos and American Mainstream.  He worked with a number of schools, throughout Taos and the surrounding areas, helping to obtain government funded grants for the arts, to create art programs for early education, which Egri felt was an important part of child development, that being fostered by his parents growing up. 

He put together many more shows on behalf of the other artists in Taos, as well, organizing the first major exhibition of modern art at the Colorado Springs Art Center, titled Taos Painting Yesterday and Today, in 1952. This exhibition marked the first time that a large number of modern Taos painters were shown together, and it was the first recognition by a museum that the artistic currents in Taos had changed. Four years later in 1956, Ted introduced the term “Taos Moderns” and worked with the Transcendental artist Raymond Jonson to create their first exhibition at the Jonson Gallery located on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  This new group who existed from the 1940’s - 1960’s were “essentially non-figurative artists, unconcerned with specific subject matter.”  Their focus was “on motif and the manner in which an artwork was developed.” 

During the artistically expansive period in the 1970s to 1980s, Egri developed large scale sculpture commissions for corporate and private clients in Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.  He began working in bronze and traveled to Pietrasanta, Tuscany to cast several works at the Tommasi Founderia.  Throughout the United States, he was featured in numerous solo exhibitions that were sponsored by galleries, museums and private residences.  He also concentrated on producing consciously unconventional artwork, from found objects and materials, as he made art serve social causes and used it as political commentary in a manner unlike any of his peers.

A prolific and versatile artist, Egri remained in Taos, becoming widely known for his sculpture, as well as his painting, with his treatment ranging in style from abstract to realistic. Over time his work gradually shifted from its focus on human struggle to an exploration of natural elements and the changes that come about as a result of living in a physical environment like Taos. "The impact of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range and the vast spaces of the mesas directed me toward space and form. I moved into sculpture," Egri said in a1987 interview with ARTSPACE magazine, "never completely leaving painting. My sculptural concepts were encouraged by the large space I have to work in. The elements-wind, time, rhythms, sound, fire-are subjects I work with as I conceive form and space."  This acute awareness, inspired Egri, toward concern with the rhythms of wind and time, to creation of one of his largest and most significant works, Flight of the Wind, symbolizing those natural elements, with its swirling movement of line and how these natural elements played against the lines of Taos Mountain.

Important public acts of recognition began to occur for Egri.  In 1996, he received the Governor’s Award of Excellence in the Arts for working with unrecognized artists of all cultures, ages and socioeconomic groups.  Ten years later, the Mayor of Taos, proclaimed May 21, 2006 as Ted Egri Day, acknowledging his sensitivity to the needs of minorities, providing opportunities for them to share in his creative techniques within his personal studio. 

Since Egri's death in 2010, and most recently, the monumental welded metal sculpture Flight of the Wind was, donated by the artist's estate to Taos County, moved from the artist's property, and installed at the Taos County Courthouse complex.  Several other sculptures have also been placed on display through out the Taos area,
honoring this artist's profound contribution to Taos' art history, and solidifying his place as a Taos Legend.

"Sea Song," a 10-ft. fountain sculpture for Executive Life Building in Beverly Hills, California.
"Watersprite" - a 14-ft. fountain sculpture which stands at the Coronado Shopping Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
"Hand of Friendship" - a 16-ft. sculpture commissioned by the Albuquerque Beautification Committee located in Civic Park Plaza.
 "Tree of Life" - a 13-ft. sculpture of stained glass and aluminum for Temple Shalom, Dallas, Texas.
Winner of a national competition for a facade sculpture for the Scranton, Pennsylvania Jewish Community Center: "Moses and the People," 15 x 18 ft.

New Mexico Museums Foundation: "Cyclist," bronze sculpture done in Italy.
Museum of New Mexico, pur­chase prize, a drawing.
Northern Iowa University: "Impact of Experience," a 12-ft. Cor-Ten steel sculpture, and "Runaway Horse". Wm.
Rockhill Nelson Museum, Kansas City, Mo., oil painting "Street Scene" for its Contemporary American collection.

American Artist magazine, June 1977: "Ted Egri: The Survival of a Sculptor".
Photos of work in ART IN ARCHITECTURE by Louis G. Redstone. McGraw Hill.
CREATIVE CARVING by Dona Z. Meilach. Reilly & Lee.
SCULPTURE WITH A TORCH by John Rood. U. of Minn. Press.
Reinhold PRIZE-WINNING SCULPTURES, a Margaret Harold publication.

Select above image to view online catalog

Selected works, two & three dimensional, directly from the Artist's Estate:

Images are not to scale.

Drawings & Paintings

"Life Spiral"
  gouache & charcoal on board - c. 1950s
22 1/2" H x 13 1/2" W

"Abstract Kiss"
   oil on board - c. 1950
36" H x 48" W

"The Bath"
  charcoal on paper - c. 1950
35 1/2" H x 23 1/2" W

"Nights End"
  oil on canvas - 1951
30" H x 40" W

"Foot Races"
ink and gouache on paper - c. 1950s
  14" H x 17" W

   oil with graffito on paper - c. 1960s
21 1/2" H x 9" W

"Standing Nude"
  red conte & charcoal on paper -  c. 1960
18" H x 12" W

"Mandolin Player"
  Sumi ink wash on paper - c. 1960s
20" H x 12 3/4" W

"Leaning Nude"
  charcoal & red conte on paper - c. 1960s
12" H x 18" W

  blue pen and ink on paper - c. 1960s
20 1/2" H x 25 3/4" W

"Sculpture Concept - Vertical"
  ink & paper collage on color paper - c. 1960s
12 1/2" H x 9" W

"Blast Sculpture Series No 2"
  ink & paper collage on color paper - c. 1960s
12 1/2" H x 8 1/2" W

"Pueblo Foot Races"
  ink and gouache on paper - c. 1950s
14" H x 17" W - SOLD

"Taos Mountain Winter"
  oil on board - c. 1950s
19 1/4" H x 30" W- SOLD

"Village Cemetery"
  charcoal and gouache on paper - c. 1950s
13" H x 20 1/2" W - SOLD

"Seated Nude"
  Sumi ink wash on paper - circa 1960s
20" H x 14 3/4" W - SOLD


"Untitled Abstract Dancer"
dynamited welded steel - c. 1980
90" H x 64" W x 42" D

"Untitled Monoliths"
cast & hand carved composite on metal base -c. 1970
23 1/4" H x 19" W x 19" D

"Untitled Abstract Menorah"
welded steel with resin patina - c. 1950s
23" H x 24" W x 15" D

"Untitled Dense Form"
resin & glass ceramic mounted on wood - c. 1960s
5" H x 3" W x 3" D

"Untitled Yellow Bolt",
welded steel with  paint pealed patina- c. 1970s
24" H x 14" W x 40" D

"Family Group"
  bronze ed. 4/12 - c. 1980s
10 3/8" H x 15" W x 12" D

"Untitled Dancing Form"
resin & glass ceramic mounted on wood - c. 1960s
7" H x 3 1/2" W x 3" D

"Biomorphic Totum"
carved wooden log mounted on metal base -
c. 1950s
46 1/2" H x 19" W x 17 3/4" D,

"Abstract Figure"
bronze with painted patina - c. 1980s
5 1/4" H x 4 1/2" W x 3 3/4" D

"SHALOM Menorah"
   brass on fabricated steel - c. 1970s
14 3/4" H x 13 3/4" W x 4" D

"Symbolic Menorah"
  brass on fabricated steel - c. 1970s
  9 3/4" H x 9" W x 4 1/2" D

  wall mounted bronze edition 4/8 - c. 1980s
11 1/2" H x 14 1/4" W x 2" D

"Inner Sphere"
  carved wood block -
c. 1950s
25 1/4" H x 13 3/4" W x 14 3/4" D

"Sculpture Study",
  brass on fabricated steel - c. 1970s
10 1/2" H x 5" W x 3" D - SOLD

"Discus Thrower"
   bronze edition 4/8, mounted on wood - c. 1980s
9" H x 6 3/4" W x 3 1/2" D - SOLD