press release

The exhibition

This November, the Jewish Museum will present Unorthodox, a large-scale group exhibition featuring over 50 contemporary artists from around the world whose practices mix forms and genres without concern for artistic conventions. Though the artists in Unorthodox come from a wide variety of backgrounds and generations, they are united in their spirit of independence and individuality. Through over 200 works, the exhibition will highlight the importance of iconoclasm and art's key role in breaking rules and traditions. Numerous works that examine social and political values, religion and humanism, trauma, and identity explore the relationship between the human figure and the modern creative process.

The publications

A related publication in the format of a three-issue journal will examine unorthodoxy across such subjects as art, politics, history, religion, philosophy, education, sexuality, and language. The publication will feature newly commissioned or previously unpublished texts by a number of scholars and submissions by writers, theorists, philosophers and artists with their interpretations of the term "unorthodox" in the form of small, lexicon-like entries.

The public programs

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of public programs developed by the Jewish Museum and presented in collaboration with the 92nd Street Y. These keynote conversations are linked to the topics explored in the publication, focusing on religion, philosophy, and art. In addition, the Jewish Museum will present a seminar and panel discussion titled "The Unorthodox Museum," bringing together curators and museum professionals from New York City and beyond to discuss unconventional and nonconformist approaches to programming an art institution.

"Unorthodox does not comment on Jewish religious orthodoxy or critique it, but takes its inspiration from the Jewish tradition of dialogue and debate to investigate the impact of unorthodox concepts on orthodox systems," said Jens Hoffmann. "Unorthodox aims to break with a cultural and artistic uniformity that has developed over the last century among artists and museums, proposing a nonconformist engagement with art as a means to disrupt the status quo."

Artists included in the Unorthodox exhibition, publications and public programs, as of May 2015:

Participating artists:

Margit Anna (1913–1991, b. Hungary), Austé (b. 1952, USA), Clayton Bailey (b. 1939, USA), Brian Belott (b. 1973, USA), Meriem Bennani (b. 1988, Morocco), Adolfo Bernal (1954–2008, b. Columbia), Dineo Seshee Bopape (b. 1981, South Africa), Michael Buthe (1944–1994, b. Germany), Tony Cox (b. 1975, USA), Olga de Amaral (b. 1932, Colombia), Brian DeGraw (b. 1974, USA), Marie-Louise Ekman (b. 1944, Sweden), Brenda Fajardo (b. 1940, Philippines), Valeska Gert (1892–1978, b. Germany), Stephen Goodfellow (b. 1953, United Kingdom), Zachary Harris (b. 1976, USA), Lubaina Himid (b. 1954, Zanzibar), Nadira Husain (b. 1980, France), Januario Jano (b. 1979, Angola), Jamian Juliano-Villani (b. 1987, USA), Cyrus Kabiru (b. 1984, Kenya), E’wao Kagoshima (b. 1945, Japan), Gülsün Karamustafa (b. 1946, Turkey), Keiichi Tanaami (b. 1936, Japan), Július Koller (1939–2007, b. Slovakia), Jiri Kovanda (b. 1953, Czech Republic), Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato (1900–1995, b. Brazil), Boris Lurie (1924–2008, b. Russia), Alice Mackler (b. 1931, USA), f.marquespenteado (b. 1955, Brazil), Naito Masatoshi (b. 1938, Japan), Park McArthur (b. 1984, USA), Jeffry Mitchell (b. 1958, USA), William Mortensen (1897–1965, b. USA), Mrinalini Mukherjee (1949–2015, b. India), Hylton Nel (b. 1941, Zambia), Lydia Okumura (b. 1948, Brazil), Bundnum Óhefð (b. 1996, Iceland), Nick Payne (b. 1982, USA), Bunny Rogers (b. 1990, USA), David Rosenak (b. 1957, USA), Erna Rosenstein (1913–2004, b. Austria), Xanti Schawinsky (1904–1979, b. Switzerland), Max Schumann (b. 1965, USA), Leang Seckon (b. 1970, Cambodia), Diane Simpson (b. 1935, USA), Philip Smith (b. 1952, USA), Jeni Spota (b. 1982, USA), Amikam Toren (b. 1945, Israel), Endre Tót (b. 1937, Hungary), William T. Vollmann (b. 1959, USA), Lionel Ziprin (1924–2009, b. USA)

Unorthodox is organized by Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, and Daniel Palmer, Leon Levy Assistant Curator, and Kelly Taxter, Assistant Curator.

Unorthodox is made possible by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, the Boris Lurie Art Foundation, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, Adam Lindemann, and a Gift of Agnes Gund.

Endowment support is provided by the Melva Bucksbaum Fund for Contemporary Art. Additional support is provided by the Leon Levy Foundation and Ealan and Melinda Wingate.