illuminate sf


Dave Lane (2015)
Yerba Buena: 736 Mission Street, CJM (View Map)

Lamp of the Covenant

is a massive 90-foot long sculpture that weighs 12,000 pounds. The first major artwork to be commissioned by the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), Dave Lane's monumental work is suspended high over the heads of visitors in the museum’s soaring lobby space. The artwork’s enormous steel oval is comprised of antique found objects: world globes, light bulbs, tools such as nineteenth century apple peelers and blow torches, and various other materials that suggest the unfolding marvels of the cosmos.

“Lamp of the Covenant” refers to the lamp that always hangs over the altar in the synagogue , a light that represents divine presence in the room; the covenant is the relationship between Judaism and God. By naming his work

Lamp of the Covenant,

the artist offers a tangible, very human sign of the presence of the miraculous as it penetrates our mundane reality, utilizing the lamp as a sign of wonder, and the spiritual, that is always just over our heads as we pursue our everyday lives.

Best Viewing:

Lamp of the Covenant

can be seen above the Grand Lobby, during museum hours of operation.