Agathe Sorel was born into a cultured, assimilated Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary on 13 May 1935. Her paternal grandfather was an artist and her father's cousin was the Bauhaus designer Herbert Mayer. During the Second World War, Agathe and her family were saved by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued thousands of Hungarian Jews. After the war, she trained in Budapest at both the Academy of Applied Arts and then the Academy of Fine Arts, where she studied stage design, murals, frescoes and mosaic techniques. In 1956, following the failure of the Hungarian Uprising, she moved to London and briefly studied illustration at the Camberwell College of Art. During this period she connected with a group of contemporary artists including Michael Rothenstein, Robert Medley, R B Kitaj, Henry Inlander, Julian Trevelyan and Anthony Gross, who encouraged her to go to Paris to study under Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17, where she encountered contemporary art and abstraction for the first time.

She was the recipient of Gulbenkian and Churchill fellowships, allowing her to travel and work in France, the USA and Mexico. In 1960, she returned to London and set up her own studio in Fulham with her husband, painter and textile designer Gabriel (Gábor) Sitkey, also teaching at Camberwell and Goldsmith's colleges of art. She was a founding member of the Printmakers’ Council, which established printmaking as a separate department in art colleges, with specially allocated rooms and equipment, and served as Chairman from 1981–83. She had a joint exhibition at Ben Uri in November 1972 with Ya’akov Boussidan, who had included her work a year earlier in an exhibition in Israel about British printmakers. Agathe Sorel died in London, England on 30 July 2020. Her work is represented in more than 40 major museums worldwide including the Arts Council, the British Museum, the Tate and the V&A in the UK.