Photostory #324: Italian Critics Acclaim Montreal Sculpture: Canadian Artist Wins Fame in Florence
National Film Board of Canada
November 13, 1962
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Florence, Italy -- a centuries old focal point of fine art when Montreal was still a few log cabins -- this year hailed Canadian painter and sculptor Sylvia Lefkovitz, winner of Florence's 1962 "Porcellino" award for best artist of the year. Home in Montreal after two years of work in art-rich, sun-warmed Italy, Miss Lefkovitz, who is adept in many creative mediums, is now absorbed in a new field -- sculpting in Canadian wood. In the traditional manner of the true artist she has worked hard for her living (as a bookkeeper, in an aircraft factory, in offices) while studying during her spare time. She has taught art students, obtained scholarships, travelled to warm, vintage countries of the world where the deep roots of art flourish. Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Mexico have inspired her brush and sculpting tools. She has studied at New York's Columbia University, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Louvre and Academie Julian in Paris, has been awarded a Canada Council grant. In Italy this year, her exhibit of oil paintings and bronze and marble sculpture drew high praise from Florentine critics. In that Renaissance city, steeped in the culture of old Europe, this versatile artist from the new world of Montreal found an admiring audience for her work among the patrons and connoisseurs. Now back in Canada for a while, her Italian work is being exhibited in Montreal. Next year she hopes to return to Greece to study its sculpture and paint the colourful land which so impressed her on a previous visit. Meanwhile, Sylvia Lefkovitz, happy to be back in Montreal with her massive works of art (her Italian collection alone weighs two tons) is busy with mallet, chisel, 10-pound hammer, oils and brushes, working with wood and granite, painting and drawing -- a creative Canadian contributing to the international world of art.