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The Contemporary Jewish Museum Exhibition Schedule 2017

(San Francisco, CA, October 4, 2016) The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) announces a diverse roster of exhibitions for 2017.


From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art

Through April 2, 2017

A contemporary art exhibition exploring inherited memory with work by twenty-four international artists including Christian Boltanski, Binh Danh, Hank Willis Thomas, and more.

Opening in 2017

Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show

January 26–June 25, 2017

New York–based contemporary artist Cary Leibowitz (b. 1963) creates comically self-effacing text-based works with a decidedly gay and often Jewish perspective that address issues of identity, kitsch, modernist critique, and queer politics. Since the early 1990s, when he became widely known under the moniker “Candyass,” Leibowitz has been one of the art world’s most delicious practitioners of this demonstrative self-abasement.

In both his cheeky multiples and his irregular-format paint-on-wood “wood” works, Leibowitz mixes his obsession with popular culture, fine art, and Jewishness with elements of therapy and self-loathing, interrogation and self-interrogation, institutional critique, social commentary, and stand-up comedy routine. His brightly colored reductive paintings often reference seventies queer history, blending comedy and neurosis in such a way that questions about appearance and identity become a running gag.

The exhibition will feature nearly 350 original artworks and multiples from 1987 to the present: paintings, fabric works, multiples, installations, documentation, photography, and ephemera related to curatorial endeavors and performance.

Organized by The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco and curated by CJM Associate Curator Anastasia James.

Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs

April 27–September 3, 2017

Roz Chast is one of the most celebrated cartoonists in the United States today. Born in Brooklyn, she has been publishing with The New Yorker since 1978. She has received wide acclaim for her tour de force graphic memoir about the last years of her elderly parents’ lives, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, that has won the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Autobiography and the Kirkus Prize for Non-Fiction.

The exhibition contains 250 objects: original cartoons, children’s book illustrations, and storytelling rugs.

Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Massachusetts.

The 613 by Archie Rand

July 20–October 22, 2017

Starting in 2000, Archie Rand (b. 1949), a painter and muralist from Brooklyn, New York, spent five years creating The 613, a monumental installation of 613 small canvas (20 in x16 in) paintings arranged in a huge grid comprising 1700 square feet. They reflect on the 613 laws governing traditional Jewish behavior and were described by Peter Steinfels of The New York Times as, “rendered in the style of comics and pulp fiction book jackets, a dash of Mad Magazine, a spoonful of Tales From the Crypt, some grotesques, some superheroes, always action, emotion, drama.” This will be the first museum showing in the world of the full work.

Rand’s work is displayed around the world, including in the collections of SFMOMA, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His graphic works and books are in over 400 public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and many more.

A project of The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco and Joan Brookbank Projects.

In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art: Allison Smith and Christina Zetterlund

July 20, 2017–July 8, 2018

The Contemporary Jewish Museum repurposes the centuries-old practice of havruta—the study of religious texts by people in pairs—for the contemporary art community. Bay Area-based artist Allison Smith collaborates with craft and design historian Christina Zetterlund in the next installation of the exhibition series, In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art.

Smith has created a number of projects which consider traditional craft and historical reenactments in the context of the United States. For this project, Smith collaborates with Christina Zetterlund, a craft and design historian and theoretician based at the Konstfack in Sweden. Smith first met Zetterlund during her recent residency in Stockholm and they discovered a shared interest in the role of craft in the construction of nationalism.

Smith has exhibited her work nationally and internationally since 1995. She has produced over twenty-five solo exhibitions, installations, performances, and artist-led participatory projects for venues such as SFMoMA, Public Art Fund, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and The Arts Club of Chicago, among many others. Smith has exhibited her work in group exhibitions at galleries and museums including MoMA PS1;  Palais de Tokyo; The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art; MASS MoCA; The Andy Warhol Museum; and the Tang Museum. She is Associate Professor and Chair of the Sculpture Program at California College of the Arts.

Kutiman: offgrid offline

July 20, 2017–January 7, 2018

The work of Israeli musician, composer, producer, and video mixologist Kutiman has been called “the future of music” and the “internet’s new frontier.” He knits together found musical snippets from the internet into seamless and exquisite works of art. offgrid offline, which was commissioned by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, consists of twelve video monitors showing a thirty-eight minute looped music and video jazz composition that will be shown in The CJM’s soaring Yud gallery.

Jewish Folktales Retold: Artist as Maggid

September 28, 2017–January 28, 2018

Fourteen diverse contemporary artists act as modern maggids—interpreting traditional Jewish folktales and characters and delivering new insights into the rich Jewish tradition of stories that incorporate religion, horror, and superstition.

The Hebrew concept of maggid has multiple meanings and layers, with the most basic definition that of a religious teacher and teller of stories. Contrasted with the more formally trained rabbis, the lay maggids acted as repositories and transmitters of cultural knowledge, folklore, and social norms and mores.

The exhibition explores concepts such as transformation and metamorphosis, good and evil, moral education, political and class metaphors, the role of women, and storytelling in contemporary art. It features new commissioned works including the signature large-scale creatures of Northern California artist Elizabeth Higgins O’Connor, as well as works by Michale Arcega, Dina Goldstein, Vera Iliatova, Tracey Snelling, Chris Sollars, Louise Stanley, Youngsuk Suh, and more.

Organized by The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco and curated by CJM Assistant Curator Pierre-François Galpin, with CJM Chief Curator Renny Pritikin.

About The Contemporary Jewish Museum

With the opening of its new building on June 8, 2008, The Contemporary Jewish Museum ushered in a new chapter in its twenty-plus year history of engaging audiences and artists in exploring contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. The facility, designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is a lively center where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather to experience art, share diverse perspectives, and engage in hands-on activities. Inspired by the Hebrew phrase “L’Chaim” (To Life), the building is a physical embodiment of The CJM’s mission to bring together tradition and innovation in an exploration of the Jewish experience in the twenty-first century.

Major support for The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s exhibitions and Jewish Peoplehood Programs comes from the Koret Foundation. The Museum also thanks the Jim Joseph Foundation for its major support of innovative strategies for educating and engaging audiences in Jewish learning. Additional major support is provided by an Anonymous donor; Alyse and Nathan Mason Brill; Gaia Fund; the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund; Walter and Elise Haas Fund; the Hellman Family; the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties; Maribelle and Stephen Leavitt; the Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund; Osterweis Capital Management; Dorothy R. Saxe; Target; and Wendy and Richard Yanowitch.

For more information about The Contemporary Jewish Museum, visit The Museum’s website at

General Information

The Museum is open daily (except Wednesday) 11am–5pm and Thursday, 11am–8pm. Museum admission is $14 for adults, $12 for students and senior citizens with a valid ID, and $5 on Thursdays after 5pm. Youth 18 and under always get in free. For general information on The Contemporary Jewish Museum, the public may visit The Museum’s website at or call 415.655.7800. The Contemporary Jewish Museum is located at 736 Mission Street (between Third & Fourth streets), San Francisco.


Nina Sazevich

Public Relations

Melanie Samay

Associate Director of Marketing and Communications