With former New York dealer Jeffrey Deitch approaching his two-year anniversary as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles—he began on June 1, 2010—Mike Boehm checked in with him for an article in the Los Angeles Times, and he takes a close look at the institution’s financial status, which still has a ways to go before it can be considered stable and healthy.
First, the bottom line, courtesy Mr. Boehm: “MOCA had either a $504,000 surplus or a $302,000 deficit in its first year under Deitch, depending on whether one includes an $804,000 depreciation expense. That’s down from a $4.8-million surplus—depreciation included—in the year before he began as director.”
Earlier this month, the 31-year-old art dealer Kathy Grayson was in her gallery, the Hole, speaking over a saw buzzing in the background. She was awaiting the arrival of 100 bags of pea gravel, 2,500 square feet of synthetic turf, four types of pond grasses, six cherry blossom trees, three willow trees, five dozen water lilies, dozens of tulips and stalks of bamboo, and a Japanese bridge to stretch over a pond. At the behest of the artists Kembra Pfahler and E.V. Day, she was transforming the Hole, for a month, into a recreation of Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny, where the painter spent the final years of his life and painted his famous Water Lilies. Once the garden was complete, she would hang in it 12 photographs Ms. Day took, on an artist residency at Giverny, of Ms. Pfahler posing in the gardens in her role as lead singer of glam-punk band the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black: naked, save for thigh-high boots, head-to-toe body paint and a black wig teased into a two-foot-high rat’s nest.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is losing three key officials—the chief operating officer, the fundraising director and the chair of the board’s finance committee, the Los Angeles Times reports. They had been in office for less than a year.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles announced moments ago that Steven A. Cohen, the hedge-fund-operating collector from Greenwich, Conn., who is known to have a penchant for plowing a good bit of cash into art, has just joined its board of trustees.
It has been more than a month since Marina Abramovic brought nude women and live rotating heads to the dinner tables of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual gala dinner, prompting an angry letter from choreographer Yvonne Rainer and other luminaries, but it remains a subject of fierce debate.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2011
Shortly after entering Art Basel Miami Beach this afternoon, we spotted Naomi Campbell chatting with Diddy (who was wearing some sort of leopard-print sweater and a sling) in an aisle not far from Acquavella’s booth.
When Jeffrey Deitch closed his eponymous gallery in SoHo last year to become director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (LA MOCA), the New York art world, and particularly the SoHo neighborhood, was widely acknowledged to have lost one of its galvanizing forces. As of next week, new life will be brewing at the former Deitch headquarters at 76 Grand Street, with a gallery that appears to continue in the Deitch tradition. The Observer has learned that Suzanne Geiss, former executive director of Deitch Projects, plans to start a new gallery in the building, which will be open to the public next spring.
“I think we’re going to leave. My friend fainted.”
That was the very first comment The Observer overheard as we headed into the entertainment portion of our program at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual gala on Saturday night.
[See photos of the event here.]
Cocktail hour at the gala had been relatively tame—everyone milling about, chatting each other up and giving each other the up-and-down—outfits are important at this event. Dita Von Teese was resplendent in Gaultier haute couture, while Minnie Driver went contemporary in a Douglas Hannant Andy Warhol camouflage number with Pomellato jewelry – yet she was just as va-va-voom as the diminutive burlesque star. Art patron Mandy Einstein cut a lithe figure in black Thierry Mugler and artist Rosson Crow looked like a happy cake topper in light peach vintage Don Loper. Gwen Stefani—sans husband Gavin—was a standout, and perhaps the centerpiece of this precursor to the evening’s big event… which is to say: dinner. To which, at that moment, we were summoned…