Calman Shemi, sculptor and painter, was born in Argentina in 1939. A graduate of the School of Sculpture and Ceramics in Mendoza, he was a student of the Italian-Argentinean sculptor, Libero Badii, and the German-Israeli sculptor, Rudi Lehman.
In 1961 Shemi settled in Israel and joined Kibbutz Carmia of which he was a member for twenty years. There he worked in agriculture and also as a sculptor working with wood and clay. Several large-scale projects made of fiberglass and polyester are situated in various public buildings.
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 1977. Beginning with a color drawing done to scale, Shemi layers irregularly shaped pieces of variously textured and colored fabrics. Using a thread less 9000-needle sewing machine, the fabrics are meshed to one another and to the background, resulting in vibrant compositions infused with exuberant color and explosive movement.