November 9, 2006 - Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum - Tamar Hirschl: Cultural Alarm
November 9, 2006

Tamar Hirschl: Cultural Alarm

Tamar Hirschl
Cultural Alarm

Through January 30, 2007

Hebrew Union College
Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
1 West 4th Street
(between Broadway and Mercer)
New York, NY 10012

Admission: Free, Photo ID Required

A special event surrounding the exhibition with the artist and Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich will be presented by the Tel Aviv University American Council on November 14th. For further information please contact 212-742-9058.

Tamar Hirschl: Cultural Alarm, a fine art installation, awakens viewers to the dangers of human and environmental destruction. Hirschls artwork draws on personal memories of war and displacement in Croatia and Israel. It conveys a universal warning challenging the viewer to acknowledge the unnatural separation of cultures, religions and societies that exists in the modern world. As well as illuminates the destructive effect that mans progress has had on the animal kingdom, the natural world, and humanity itself.

Employing diverse techniques, materials and applications, Hirschl explores complex of emotional subjects. She substitutes vast surfaces of unframed vinyl for traditional stretched canvas, and expands the images so that these contemporary murals take on the scale of public billboards.

Cultural Alarm grapples with the troubling idea that we, humankind, have become inured to tinkering with the balance of nature, notes Laura Kruger, Curator. The unimaginable scope and horror of the events that invest these works, the Holocaust, the World Trade Center attack, the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, demand absolute attention on a grand scale.

The large-scale, mixed media murals include Cultural Alarm, Mementos III, Protest, Deer Watch, and Trauma set on vinyl and paper. Civilization is an ongoing series of sculptures cast in acrylic resin and set in Plexiglass aquariums. In Flight I and In Flight II are a series of smaller collages on paper.

Through her art, Tamar Hirschl reminds us that the chain of memory and humanistic values compel us to struggle for universal freedom, tolerance, justice, and human rights, says Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Director. Her works speak to all who would help create a better world.

Tamar Hirschl began drawing during her childhood in Zagreb, Croatia. After witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust in a Nazi detention camp in Hungary and later moving to Israel during its struggle for independence, she maintained a focus on her artistic talents. She studied at the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv Kalisher School of Art, the State College of Art in Tel Aviv, and received her MA at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After living in Israel for fifty-one years, Hirschl moved her studio to New York City in 1999.

Hirschl’s recent work has been featured in a number of significant exhibitions, including a solo show at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and projects during the 51st Venice Biennale and the 9th International Istanbul Biennial. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Queens Museum of Art and in many private and corporate collections. A documentary about her art and life, “Bridges of Memories,” narrated by Martin Sheen and directed by Jakov Sedlar, was produced by Jerusalem Films and the Government of Croatia.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog, featuring an essay by Tom Finkelpearl, executive director of the Queens Museum of Art.

Catalog and images available: please contact Rachel Litcofsky, 212-824-2205;

Museum Hours: MondaysThursdays, 9 am-5 pm; Fridays, 9 am-3 pm; Selected Sundays, 10 am-2 pm, Nov. 19; Dec. 10; Jan. 14, 28.
Information/Tours: (212) 8242205
Admission: Free, Photo ID Required

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal service professionals and offers graduate and post-graduate degree programs for scholars of all faiths. With campuses in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York, and Jerusalem, HUC-JIR’s scholarly resources comprise renowned library, archive, and museum collections, biblical archaeology excavations, research centers and institutes, and academic publications. HUC-JIR invites the community to an array of cultural and educational programs that illuminate Jewish history, culture, and contemporary creativity, and foster interfaith and multi-ethnic understanding. Visit us at

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
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