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Art: Installation

Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought


Feb 16, 2012 – Sep 9, 2012

Mondays–Tuesdays (11am–5pm)

Thursdays (1–8pm)

Fridays–Sundays (11am–5pm)



Contemporary Jewish Museum (Venue Partner)

736 Mission St


Directions: 736 Mission Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets.



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Contemporary Jewish Museum says…

From the very first chapters of the Torah where one encounters them in the Garden of Eden, to the commandment Bal Tashchit (do not destroy) found in Deuteronomy forbidding their wanton destruction during wartime, trees occupy a particularly potent and symbolic place in Jewish literature and lore as expressions of paradise, regeneration, shelter, the bounty of the earth, longevity, and even as a precursor to the coming of the Messiah. A new three-part exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought, explores the role of the tree in Jewish tradition and beyond through the lens of contemporary artists, offering fresh perspectives on ritual practice and our connection to the natural world. The companion exhibitions include the continuation of The Dorothy Saxe Invitational, an exhibition series in which artists from diverse backgrounds and working in a range of media are invited to explore Jewish ritual objects (this year focusing on the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the New Year for the Trees, and featuring artists such as Harriete Estel Berman, Yves Behar, Tucker Nichols, Lawrence Weiner, and Ursula von Rydingsvard), as well as a selection of work examining the tree more widely in contemporary art practice by international artists including Gabriela Albergaria, Zadok Ben David, Joseph Beuys, April Gornik, Charles Labelle, Rodney Graham, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Yoko Ono, Roxy Paine, Tal Shochat and more. The third component is the expansion of the exhibition beyond the walls of the Museum on to the Jessie Square Plaza with a commission by local environmental design firm Rebar.