Public Art at Williams
Three Directions, 1980
Yehiel Shemi (Israeli, 1922-2003)
Gift of Jacques and Donatella Lennon
Photo by Megan Cross
Israeli sculptor Yehiel Shemi gained renown in the art world for his abstract works in metal. In the 1950s, after having worked in the construction industry, Shemi began using mass-produced iron and scrap metal for major monumental sculptures for Ben-Gurion International Airport, the Jerusalem Theater and Jerusalem’s Conference Center. In the 1960s, the Betty Parsons Gallery gave Shemi a show, resulting in a purchase of his work by the Museum of Modern Art, making him the first Israeli artist to have his works purchased by MoMA.
Some have remarked that Shemi’s work can be “viewed as three-dimensional…calligraphy. His works become drawings in open space.