Featuring the work of Sherry Karver, Robert McCann and Lilach Schrag.
Opening Reception: Friday, August 28, from 1–4pm, featuring 3 Artist Talks:
Sherry Karver at 1:30-2:00pm; Robert McCann at 2:20-2:50pm; Lilach Schrag at 3:10-3:40pm. RSVP here.
Layered Meanings features the work of Sherry Karver, Robert McCann, and Lilach Schrag. Though vastly different in their artistic expressions, each presents the viewer with complex explorations of personal and societal alienation, contradiction and conflict found in modern life. The works invite the viewer to look deeply and thoroughly to find metaphors, examine the stories told and find the meanings.
Karver evolves photography into mixed media panels of crowds and people in busy urban settings interlaced with narratives of disaffection. McCann‘s large paintings mesh smoothly rendered action figures, settings from banal Americana, and abstract impasto into complex and disturbing scenes. Schrag presents work in various media in which process and exploration invite the viewer to understand its manifestation in the work.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
I was born and raised in Chicago, and am now living in California. I’ve been an artist since childhood, attending kid’s classes at the Art Institute, and having a pottery shop and studio under the Morse Avenue EL after college. I received my B.A. degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, and my M.F.A. in ceramics from Tulane University in New Orleans.
Although I taught college level ceramics for many years, my own work evolved into mixed media photography. My current series, “Identity and Perception” pushes the boundaries of traditional photography by combining it with oil painting for all the color, narrative text, and resin surface on wood panels to create a new hybrid.
My work confronts today’s individual and societal issues so rampant in our impersonal metropolitan areas: alienation, loneliness, loss of identity, how others view and judge us, and the passage of time. I take photos of crowd scenes in public places like city streets, Grand Central Station, the Metropolitan Museum, etc. to see how we interact or not, with one another.
I write fictional narratives on some of the figures as a way to personalize people and make them stand out from the crowd, giving them an identity based solely on how I see them. We often make judgments about others without ever speaking to them. By adding narrative text, it adds another layer to my work and pulls the viewer in to become part of my process by reading it.
The faded out areas at the top of some work represent those who have been in the same place before us and those who will come after us. Most recently I have made my images into puzzles, leaving out some areas which represent looking for the ‘missing pieces’ in our lives to complete the stories. The puzzles are mounted on boards with a resin surface, and the missing parts are hung in little bags next to the piece. It is left up to the viewer to finish the stories in their mind.
Robert A. McCann is a Michigan-based artist and educator. Born and raised in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri, he developed his studio practice through studies at Missouri State University, Indiana University, and as a Fulbright scholar based in Berlin, Germany.
McCann’s paintings have frequently dealt with the potential for metaphors in our byzantine mass media culture, and the overwriting of epic and intimate events in the particular artifice of painting. He has exhibited his artwork extensively around the United States, including solo exhibitions at prominent public venues such as Grand Rapids Art Museum, South Bend Museum of Art, the University of Kansas Art & Design Gallery, and the University of Arkansas Galleries at Little Rock. He has been a member of the artist-run nonprofit Amos Eno Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, since 2015.
Lilach Schrag studies transformative encounters using a wide range of traditional art materials and elements from her natural and domestic surroundings in a variety of media from video and assemblage to large-scale installations and paintings. Figures, mythical creatures, plants and man-made objects occupy Schrag’s work, engaging in physical activity by themselves or interacting with each other as a metaphor for a psychological process. In their yearning to connect and belong, they manifest a spectrum of life contradictions and dualities such as purpose and experimentation, function and grace, beauty and decay.
An Israeli-born Chicago-based artist, Schrag graduated from Hamidrasha Art School in Israel and holds a Master’s degree from Spertus Institute, Chicago. Her artwork has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the US and Israel including: Zhou B Art Center and Spertus Institute in Chicago, as well as the Janco Dada Museum and the Jerusalem Biennale in Israel, and featured in publications including the Chicago Tribune and The Jerusalem Post.
Artwork shown: Lilach Schrag, Holy, Holy, Holy I