Calman Shemi

Beloosesky Gallery is interested in purchasing tapestries or soft paintings by Calman Shemi.

Please call (917) 749-4577 or email us at info@beloosesky.com

 

Calman Shemi (Israeli born Argentina, 1939)

Calman Shemi began studying art as a child in Argentina and continued his artistic pursuits after moving to Israel in 1961 at the age of 22.   He credits his art teachers—Libero Badii in Argentina and Rudi Lehman in Israel - with awakening in him an interest in the abstract qualities evident in natural forms.  Shemi's early sculptural work was biomorphic and abstract, recalling the work of Constantin Brancusi, an artist he has much admired. 

When Shemi has stated that his current art is "totally abstract," he has intended that his art not refer to specific locations, events, or points in time.  Rather his art is about being in this world.  It is about existing on this earth anywhere, at any time.  And though Shemi incorporates references to Argentina and Israel, the two lands that have nurtured him personally, he abstracts those references in a way that allows them to relate to the experience of any individual.  They become universal signs for the earth's land, water, and sky, the vegetation that grows on the earth, and the sunlight that sustains all life. 

Though sculpture dominated his early years as an artist, Shemi developed the idea of the "soft painting" medium while living on the Kibbutz Carmia in southern Israel in 1977. Beginning with a color drawing done in scale, Shemi layers irregularly shaped pieces of variously textured and colored fabrics.  Using a threadless 9000-needle sewing machine, the fabrics are meshed to one another and to the background, creating vibrant compositions infused with exuberant color and explosive movement.  Through the layering process, Calman Shemi achieves a striking effect of transparency that suggests atmosphere and light, with the impression of light often appearing so intense as to, at once, define and dissolve form.  Motifs of nature emerge—sometimes detailed, sometimes only suggested by shape or color.

Through the years, Calman Shemi has increasingly translated his expression to other art media, including painted sculpture, lithography, and paintings on paper and canvas.  His work, in all media, relates to the color, light, and movement of the natural environment. 

Calman Shemi has acknowledged many influences in his art and his life: dramatic colors of his childhood Argentina, the sunbaked landscape of his home in Israel, the sensuous colorism of Matisse, the philosophies of his art teachers, and even the ritualistic symbols of the ancient past.  His working method, which relies on the assistance of skilled artisans to execute much of the technical part in producing his works, affirms Shemi's strong commitment to the communal ethic rooted in his experience on the kibbutz.

Through his art, Shemi has sought to establish the relationship linking humankind through all time.  He is as much at ease talking about how childhood experiences inform one's life as he is contemplating the symbols of ancient cultures.  It is all the same to Shemi.  It is about human existence and the response of the individual to the environment. Shemi's aim is to strike a chord in every person—to fine that common denominator that links us all. 

Calman Shemi has said "I would like to arouse nostalgia in people so they will say 'I don't know where it was or when, but I was there. I recognize the atmosphere and spirit of the landscape.  Either I already visited the place or I dreamed I would."

Exhibitions of Shemi's work have been held by prestigious galleries throughout the world. Artwork by Shemi can be found in public, corporate, and private collections in Israel, Nigeria, Australia, Canada, and the United States, including the Spertus Museum, Chicago, and the Fashion Institute of Technology and Citicorp Corporate Office in New York.  In 1977, Shemi's work became an international symbol of peace when Israel's President Katzir presented a Calman Shemi painting to the late President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. 

Source: From the Archives of Askart
 

 

Museum and Public Collections

 

The Spertus Museum of Judaica, Chicago, IL
The Fashion Institute, New York, NY
King David Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel
One Denver Place, Denver, CO
Citibank Corporate Offices, New York, NY
Jerusalem Theatre Digital Computers, Israel
Bank Leumi, Israel
Bank Hapolim, Israel
The First National Bank, Israel
Weightwatchers Corporate Headquarters, Farmington Hills, MI

 

 

One Man Shows

 

2014 Bruno Gallery, Singapore

2012 Bartoux Gallery, PAris, France

2007 Gallerie D’Art Elysees, Paris, France

2006 Blue Gallery, California, U.S.A.

2004 Gallery De La Cite, Geneve, Switzerland

2002 Gallery Daniel Duidat, Cannes, France

1995 North Shore Gallery, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

1993 Amano Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1992 Park West Gallery, Michigan, U.S.A.

1990 Galerie Friedrich, Cologne, Germany

1989 Galeria Rojo, Madrid, Spain

1986 Jack Gallery, New York, U.S.A.

1976 Horace Richter Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel