Wings of Witness Schrierís most
ambitious undertaking is a series of monumental assemblage
installations constructed with the assistance of sixty thousand participants to
date, through artist residencies Schrier conducts at museums and educational
then eleven million can tabs, weighing over six tons, are the primary source material
for the works. Bequeathed to Schrier, the tabs were initially
collected from every US State and eight countries as markers for the
unfathomable number of lives destroyed by the Nazi Holocaust. Working under
Schrierís direction, volunteers help fabricate ďfeatherĒ structures from the tabs.
At installation sites, the feather elements are configured by him with teams
of assistants, into massive wing-like expanses, a reference to The Butterfly, a poem written by the
young Czechoslovak poet
Pavel Friedmann, who perished at Auschwitz.
The multiple WINGS of WITNESS works have been assembled at ten sites across the USA, first as a work in progress
at the Mahomet Seymour Junior High, Mahomet Illinois where the tab collection originated in 1996-97.
Subsequent project installations: the Yeshiva University Museum, New York; The Bremen Museum, Atlanta, GA;
The Brandeis Bardin Institute, Simi Valley, CA; Holocaust Museum Houston, TX; Ida Lee Park,
Leesburg VA; Holocaust Memorial and Education Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY; Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY;
and, titled, Unfinished Flight, assembled at Croton Point, Croton on Hudson NY, and then at the Hudson Valley Center for
Contemporary Art, Peekskill NY, October, 2013 through July, 2014.
Schrier was educated at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and California Institute of the Arts (LA).
At CALARTS he developed as a painter under
Emerson Woelffer, who challenged Schrier to create a year-long series based on a domino, resulting in Schrierís continuing fascination for
working with mundane objects in his art. After Schrier set up his first Manhattan studio, he also occupied a tenth century former Roman monastery on the island of Mallorca, Spain, as a summer studio. Nearby, he assisted Oxford archeologist
at his bronze age excavation, an experience that cemented Schrierís interest in the transience of culture. During a period he was journaling hundreds of his dreams as source material for imagery, Schrier discovered, in LA street trash, a
Yiddish play dated 1879
that subsequently propelled him to utilize his art for the
investigation of his Jewish heritage.
Winged imagery is prevalent in Schrierís
treatment of biblical dreams, as well as in
earlier works. Presently Schrierís NY studio occupies a 200 year old barn overlooking the Hudson
River, where his thematic work
is strongly influenced by the
cycle of tides and seasonal changes.
Beginning in Los Angeles and continuing in New York, Schrier was an early
experimenter with copier
and laser printing for his art. Many of these works were exhibited in his first NY solo, Xerotica,
at the Master Eagle Gallery, the vanguard gallery of Manhattanís Chelsea district, and in
survey exhibitions at the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, NY; The Canadian Center of Photography and Film, Toronto; New York State Museum, Albany; The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institute, New York;
Museo Electrographia, Cuenca, Spain; Bienale
Electrographia, Madrid and Barcelona. For his Dreaming Self, Schrier fused heat transfers made from scans of his body, onto bed sheets he had slept on during his most active period of dream inquiry. Featured in the Pratt Graphic Center National Copier Art Exhibition,
the Dreaming Self was published in Print Review 20, for Copy Art, the
Precedents, by William Larson. Subsequently, for installation in his first solo at the Yeshiva University Museum, Manhattan, Schrier covered the
thrashing figure of himself, with images of
Jacobís tunic (Schrierís Hebrew name is Yaacov), appropriated from the fresco of the Dura Euuropos Synagogue, 3rd century, Syria.
Schrierís other work of public note includes:
Schrier was a faculty member at Parsons School of Design, 1981-91. Artist residencies include Syracuse University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has involved thousands participants in workshops at hundreds of educational institutions including Northwestern University, Quinnipiac University, University of South Florida-Gainsville, Loyola Marymount University, Hunter College, Lycee Fraqncais de NY.
Grants and foundation funding for works that involve community participation and address social and environmental issues:
2013-14: Target Inc, Grant for Art and Culture
2012: Department of Education, US Department of Defense, and Vicenza Community Club, Vicenza Italy
2011, 2008, 2006, 2003: New York State Council on the Arts
2011, 2009, 2008, 2006: Arts Westchester, Westchester County, NY
2009: Federal grant: Innovative Alternative Strategies For Educators of Visual Arts
2008: Hudson River Healthcare, Peekskill, NY
2005: George Blumenthal, LLC, for the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY
2002, 2001: Steven Spielbergís Righteous Persons Foundation, Santa Monica, CA
2002, 2001: National Foundation for Jewish Culture
2001: The Irwin Uran Gift Fund, Loudoun County, Virginia
2000: Brandeis-Bardin Institute, Simi Valley, CA
1999: Fulton County Arts Council, Atlanta, Georgia
1998: Anti-Defamation League, LA
1998: Coca Cola