Shlomith Haber-Schaim is a painter and a printmaker who reaches for the abstraction out of the most concrete. She examines the matter, the possibilities it offers to the artist and the unknown realms it can lead to. This exhibition, which presents an assembly of the print work she has created in the past thirty years, reveals the experimental nature of her art. She relentlessly searches for the creative force that exists in the very act of etching and painting, while constantly combining and applying various materials to the etching plate – stencils, Xeroxes, pieces of Japanese paper. She is driven by the joy embedded in the form, in the line, in the act itself, without any need for representation and outer reference.
Notwithstanding her stance against interpretation and mimesis, the prints are full of expression and vigor, leading the viewer to an immediate identification of sensitive constructions, of forceful landscapes, of dramatic inside spaces, of emotional compositions. Expansions of land and sea seem to conjure before ones eyes alongside dark rooms in which beams of light play a metaphysic role. All this seems to be taking place vis-à-vis the continuous return to basic forms like rectangular and squares. The printmaking techniques enable Haber-Schaim to experiment with surfaces and with the tension between them and the image, be it the most minimalist one. Out of this constant probing emerges a fascinating artistic process which constantly produces new works of art that reach different modes of being: The prints of 1970s and 1980s are based on the variations of black tones and on conceptual forms, while the prints of the 1990s and onwards, especially the ones from the last year, are about transparencies and games of textures. Haber-Schaim, throughout her work, enfolds the immense span of poetic expression existing within color, within form, within the very choice of making art.
Taken from the catalogue: Shlomith Haber-Schaim Prints and Drawings 1970-2011, Museo Ebraico di Bologna