Karl Schrag: Memories and Premonitions

 August 30- October 21, 2012

SUArt Galleries


The Syracuse University Art Galleries is celebrating the career and life of Karl Schrag, American painter and printmaker who would have been 100 years old this year.  Karl Schrag: Memories and Premonitions, is the first major examination of the artist’s work since his death in 1995.  The exhibition includes 70 original works of art by the influential artist, including paintings, prints and drawings.

Karl Schrag’s art career spanned more than sixty years and included strong ties to the NYC art scene; after studying at the Art Students League, he joined S.W. Hayter’s prestigious printmaking Atelier 17, working alongside artists Miró, Chagall and Jackson Pollock.  Schrag was named Director of the Atelier in 1950 and later began a long teaching career at Cooper Union; where he taught drawing and graphic arts from 1954 to 1968.  Schrag had a direct impact on many of his students, including the Syracuse-based artist Jerome Witkin.  A student of Schrag at Cooper Union and a well-established contemporary artist, Witkin has commented on Schrag’s masterful handling of the landscape, and the evocative power of his vision.

The art selected for Karl Schrag: Memories and Premonitions will convey the artist’s ability to see the landscape as if for the first time, the surprise of that special view, the recognition of his ability to feel wonder when looking at nature or figure, and the reward associated with seeing the world through his eyes. As stated by Schrag, “While I believe that the outward appearance of nature is but the shell of a deeper and richer inside world that I wish to understand, I also know that the forms of art are in their infinite relationships charged with profound meanings.”

 We chose 2012 to reinvestigate the talent, imagination, and sensitivity Schrag brought to his landscapes, still-life paintings, and portraits because it is the centenary year of Karl Schrag’s birth. The Syracuse University Art Collection boasts a complete collection of graphic works, including prints in every medium; etchings, aquatints, engravings, lithographs, and relief work; Syracuse has also helped produce a catalogue raisonné of his work that has been published in three installments.

Curated by SUArt Galleries Director Domenic J. Iacono, the exhibition highlights numerous prints from the Syracuse University Art Collection, as well as loaned work consisting of paintings and drawings from the artist’s family.  A 128 page, fully illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition.


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