Born in Lithunia and studied art in Odessa, immigrated to Israel in 1913 and settled in Tiberius. He studied at Bezalel and Later Joined the jewish battalion.
Between 1928 to 1938 he moved to Paris, where he found great influence by Picasso and Cezanne. In 1942 Shemi served in the British army. When he came back to Israel he settled in Haifa and later moved to Sfad.
Shemi was one of the first artists to recognize the qualities of the Israeli light and landscape. From its beginning, Shemi's paintings tended towards expressionism, devoided from any romantic notions. He struggled fiercely to capture light and air, and his paintings gradually- under the influence of Haim Soutin- assumed a darker and more dramatic tone.
Shemi exhibited regularly at the Citadel of David and Modern Painting shows in Tel-Aviv.
for further reading:
- Dalia Belkin, Menachem Shemi: Man & Artist, 2009, Zohar Foundation
- Eugene Kolb, Menachem Shemi - 8 Paintings in Colour, 1966, Hakibbutz
Original works by Menachem Shemi can be found at the Engel Galleries Israeli art collection.