After a very tumultuous three years at his position, MOCA's Museum Director Jeffrey Deitch will be leaving the institution. MOCA is expected to release a formal announcement tomorrow; however, Deitch allegedly broke the news to the museum’s board last Friday. Deitch plans to depart from MOCA by the end of this month and return to New York City.
"We should all stop what we are doing to read about this recent speculation, because it could be the closest the art world gets to having its own coup,” writes Art F City of Deitch's unexpected departure.
Tom Christie, an L.A. Weekly reporter, wrote on his Tumblr that Deitch is looking for a space on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to house a new gallery. This has launched speculation about whether Deitch plans to reopen his gallery Deitch Projects, which formerly occupied two locations in SoHo as well as an space in Long Island City, Queens.
Although Deitch brought record-breaking numbers to MOCA during the widely popular graffiti exhibition, “Art in the Streets,” his time in Los Angeles was not without major hiccups. During Deitch’s reign, Chief Curator Paul Schimmel and all four artists on the board (Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Catherine Opie, and Barbara Kruger) departed from the museum.
During Deitch's time at the institution, MOCA was offered partnership proposals from LACMA and the National Gallery of Art, though all of these propositions were turned down. Still, MOCA reported that its endowment had grown to $75 million amid its economic troubles.
Artinfo reports that the museum has allegedly started its search for a new director.
UPDATE: On July 24 at 9:32 p.m. EST, MOCA sent out a press release confirming Deitch's departure. They listed Deitch's accomplishments as museum director as such:
- Developing the museum’s Board with the addition of 16 new trustees;
- Completing the acquisition of more than 500 works to the museum's permanent collection;
- Spearheading the creation of MOCAtv, an award-winning digital extension of the museum’s education and exhibition program. In less than one year, it has generated more than 4 million views across its unique content platforms and is among the most cutting-edge fusions of music, dance, film and fashion to reach a broad, international audience of contemporary art enthusiasts;
- Being the visionary behind Art in The Streets, which attracted the highest number of attendees in the museum's history and diversified the museum’s audience;
- Arranging more than twenty exhibitions and programs that have brought some of the world’s most important contemporary artists to Los Angeles, including:
- The first major solo museum exhibition in the United States for Ryan Trecartin
- The first West Coast solo museum show for Theaster Gates
- The first West Coast solo show for Cai Guo-Qiang
- The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol
- George Herms: Xenophilia (Love of the Unknown)
- Kenneth Anger: Icons
- Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles
- Amanda Ross-Ho: TEENY TINY WOMAN
- The first comprehensive museum retrospective of the work of Urs Fischer now on view at MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.