American artist Lorraine Shemesh has developed a unique type of contemporary realism that marries figure-based painting with abstract expressionist concerns. Shemesh has worked in varied media including painting, drawing, fiber, paper, and clay. Her focus on intertwining movement began with an early interest in dance and is the connecting thread that links her various bodies of work. Shemesh often uses professional dancers as her models, anonymous and suspended in space, the lines and curves of their forms suggestive of motion and meaning. She is interested in the spontaneous nature of a certain kind of mark making in conjunction with the development of form. Shemesh’s most recognizable work features the play of refracted light and pattern on figures submerged in water. These images of everyday life are made foreign and spectacular by their treatment.
After receiving her master’s degree from The Tyler School Of Art, where she was awarded a fellowship to study in Rome, Italy, Shemesh immediately began exhibiting her work in solo and group shows, as well as accepting teaching positions at The Rhode Island School of Design and Amherst College. Her work was represented exclusively by the Allan Stone Gallery for thirty years and can be found in public, private, and museum collections throughout the US. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at The Butler Institute Of American Art in Ohio, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Frye Art Museum in Seattle, The DeCordova Museum in Massachusetts, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, The Duke University Museum of Art in Durham, North Carolina, The Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design, The Museum of The City of New York, The National Academy of Design Museum in New York, Musee De Carouge in Switzerland, Galerij Marc Van Meensel in Zelem- Halen, Belgium, and in Landesverband Bildender Kunstler, in Kiel, Germany among others.
Her work has been reviewed/reproduced in The New Yorker, Art In America, The New York Times, and Harper’s Magazine among others. She is the recipient of a Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Grant in Painting, a Yaddo Fellowship, and a Distinguished Alumni Award in Visual Arts from Boston University, and was elected to the National Academy of Design in 2005. Shemesh lives and works in New York City and is currently represented by The Gerald Peters Gallery.