Artist Statement – Painted Pools
Pattern, whether it is planned or improvised, is memorable because it has the
capacity to transform things. The process of developing various repeated patterns
in order to create movement, rhythm, and harmony, presents the possibility of
visual metamorphosis. Initially, I was attracted to surface patterns on fabric,
patterns that occur in nature, striated light patterns, and both geometric and
improvisational shapes found in African Kuba Cloth.
Similarly, I was drawn to the water as a subject because of its myriad of patterns in
constant flux. The Painted Pool series began as an idea for a single painting. The
experience of working on that first painting was simultaneously riveting and
disquieting. When the painting was finished, I was left with many unanswered
questions, which prompted me to try others in different ways. The figures in the
paintings were developed from the inside out, a result of deeply coming to terms
with the architecture of the human body. One after the other, in the subsequent
years, the paintings have come to life, reflecting the things I have witnessed and
learned along the way physically, emotionally, and most importantly, visually.
Shemesh was inspired by Chaim Soutine, Richard Diebenkorn and Edward Hopper. She received her B.F.A. in Painting from Boston University in 1971, then spent a year in Rome with the Tyler School of Art’s abroad program, completing her M.F.A. in Painting in 1973 at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. After graduating, Shemesh immediately began exhibiting her work in solo and group shows, as well as accepting teaching positions at Rhode Island School of Design and later at Amherst College. In 1981, she joined the Allan Stone Gallery in New York. She has exhibited her work internationally at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The National Academy of Design Museum in New York, Musee de Carouge in Carouge, Switzerland, Galerij Marc Van Meensel in Zelem-Halen, New Belgium, and the Gallery of Landesverband Bildender Kunstler, in Kiel, Germany, amongst others. Shemesh currently lives and works in New York City.