Calman Shemi

Calman Shemi, sculptor and painter, was born in Argentina in 1939. A graduate of the School of Sculpture and Ceramics in Mendoza, Shemi studied with Italian-Argentinean sculptor Libero Badii, and, in Israel, German-Israeli sculptor, Rudi Lehman. In 1961 Shemi moved to Israel and joined Kibbutz Carmia where he was a member for twenty years. His early work at the kibbutz was dominated by sculpture which was biomorphic and abstract. Here he experimented and worked with a variety of mediums including wood, clay and metal. He developed the idea of the “soft painting” medium while living on the Kibbutz Carmia. Shemi has acknowledged many influences in his art and his life: the 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. He credits his teachers with his exposure and interest in the abstract qualities evident in natural forms. Shemi’s art is about human existence and the response of the individual to the environment.

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