| Calman Shemi, sculptor and
painter, was born in Argentina in 1939.
A graduate of the School of Sculpture and Ceramics in Mendoza, he studied with the Italian-Argentine sculptor Libero Badii and the German-Israeli sculptor Rudi Lehman.
In 1961, he settled in Israel and joined Kibbutz Carmia where he was a member for twenty years. There he worked in agriculture and also as a sculptor, working in wood and clay.
Shemi has acknowledged many influences in his art and his life; the dramatic colors of his childhood in Argentina, the sun-baked 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 of producing his works, affirms Shemi's strong commitment to the communal ethic rooted in his experience on the Kibbutz.
In 1977, Shemi's work became an international symbol of peace when Israel's President Katzir presented a Shemi painting to the late President Anwar Sadat of Egypt.
Sculpture dominated his early years as an artist. In 1977, while living in the Kibbutz he developed the idea of the "soft painting" medium. In his "soft paintings", he begins with a color drawing done to scale. He then layers irregularly shaped pieces of variously textured and colored fabrics resulting in vibrant compositions infused with exuberant color and explosive movement.
In recent years, Shemi has worked intensively with wall sculptures made of painted laser-cut steel, his new field of expression.
Over the last fifteen years, he has held more than seventy one-man-shows in the USA, Japan, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Israel including an exhibition at Saper Galleries in 1991. Several of Shemi's large-scale fiberglass and polyester projects are situated in various public buildings throughout the world.
Calman Shemi also created 1,200 prints for cabins of the "Sensation", a Carnival Cruises oceanliner, large-scale paintings for the liner's suites and the public places. Shemi has also created paintings and sculptures for two other Carnival Cruise Lines: the "Elevation" and the "Paradise".
- The Spertus Museum of Judaica
- The Chicago Fashion Institute
- King David Hotel, Jerusalem
- One Denver Place
- City Bank Corporate Offices
- Digital Computers, Israel
- Weight Watchers Corporate Headquarters, Michigan
- Giorgio Executive Offices, Beverly Hills
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