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 works in various media in which process and exploration invite the viewer to contemplate physical and spiritual aspects of human existence.
Sherry Karver was born and raised in Chicago, and is currently living in California with her husband, poet and novelist Jerry Ratch. She has been an artist since childhood, attending Saturday kid's classes at the Art Institute, and later received a B.A. from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.
After graduating she opened a pottery shop/studio under the Morse Ave. EL before going on to get an M.F.A. in ceramics from Tulane University in New Orleans. Sherry taught college level ceramics for many years, while her own work evolved into photography and photo-based mixed media oil painting.
Karver is currently working on two related series: Identity and Perception, and Missing Pieces of the Puzzle, both originating from photographs she takes in public places. These mixed media photo-based works deal with issues many people experience in today's fast-paced impersonal society - alienation, loneliness, memory, loss of identity, what's missing in our lives and how we view others.
Born and raised in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri, Robert A. McCann developed his studio practice through studies at Missouri State University, Indiana University, and as a Fulbright scholar based in Berlin, Germany. 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. McCann is currently based in Lansing, Michigan, where he teaches in Painting and Foundations at Michigan State University.
McCann’s paintings are concerned with big themes like desire and loss, history and progress, entropy and entertainment. He develops visual ideas through an accumulation process—propping autobiography up against current events and fantasy, collaging parts together digitally and physically and painting one thing next to and onto another. The seeming contradictions of painting spark it to life. His paintings are a fictional storytelling space, butyou can’t read an image in order like you read a book. A painting is physical and sensual, but the viewer is meant to keep a distance and not touch.
Lilach Schrag Lilach Schrag studies literal and visual texts that feature transformative encounters and magic. Referencing nature and the human body, she fuses a wide range of methods and materials common in domestic or farm work with those found in traditional art to highlight physical activity as a metaphor for psychological process.
Schrag graduated from Hamidrasha Art School in Israel, and holds a Master of Arts from Spertus Institute, Chicago. She has exhibited widely, including at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and 33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago, as well as the Janco Dada Museum and the Jerusalem Biennale in Israel.
The human body, its movement and proportions are central to Schrag’s work as she meditates on stories, spirituality, nature and human existence. This body of work interweaves hybrid beings and plants in transformative encounters. Schrag studies literal and visual texts that feature transformative encounters and magic. Referencing nature and the human body, she fuses a wide range of methods and materials common in domestic or farm work with those found in traditional art to highlight physical activity as a metaphor for psychological process.