6. Yehiel Shemi

Yehiel Shemi (Israeli, 1922-2003), Morning, 1975-1976, enamel on steel, 123 1/2 x 90 x 126 inches, Museum purchase with funds provided by Lionel R. Bauman in memory of Sylvia D. Bauman, 66-1976


Audio Transcript

Shemi was known for his abstract metal sculptures and was the first Israeli artist to have his work purchased by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Having worked in construction, the artist formed his early sculptures from the steel found in sunken ships in Haifa’s harbors.


He was interested in using modern technology in the creation of his works and often used industrial mass-produced materials. He viewed his work as environmental, and this sculpture can be seen as a three-dimensional drawing in a wide-open space.


A contemporary of David Smith, Shemi creates monumental work often described as three-dimensional Constructivist calligraphy. Morning is a second version of the original sculpture dated 1972. The artist made this version specifically for the Palm Springs Art Museum.