Museum Attendance Figures Show Slump for Troubled MOCA Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art saw a drop in attendance in 2012.

The Art Newspaper has released its closely read annual worldwide museum attendance figures for 2012 and while there is good news for New York, there is some rather bad news for Los Angeles’s embattled Museum of Contemporary Art.

The most popular exhibition globally in 2012 was one of Dutch Old Masters that opened in Japan, something the paper points to as evidence that while new art may steal the spotlight, old art still draws crowds. In the major cities, however, modern and contemporary art stayed on top. Read More


Morning Links: Lost-and-Found Klimt Edition

Visitors look at Gustav Klimt's painting "Der Kuss" (The Kiss), 2009. (Courtesy Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images)

Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie followed John Baldessari in resigning from the board of MOCA L.A. Here’s their letter. [L.A. Times]

An early fresco by the artist Gustav Klimt, thought to be lost for good, was allegedly found by a man in his garage in Northern Austria, just as Austria is celebrating the painter’s 150th birthday. Experts say the fresco is most likely by Klimt’s brother Ernst. [The Guardian] Read More


MOCA L.A. Lifetime Trustees: ‘Celebrity-driven Program That Jeffrey Deitch Promotes Is Not the Answer’

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. (Courtesy tbSMITH/Flickr)

Just when things appeared to have calmed down at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, following the much-debated departure of chief curator Paul Schimmel late last month, four of the museum’s lifetime trustees have penned a letter to the Los Angeles Times that takes issue with the positions staked out by Eli Broad, another lifetime trustee, in a separate letter recently published in the paper. Read More


Paul Schimmel on Curating: ‘I’m Not Subtle’


With a whopping 130 artists and more than 500 artworks, “Under the Big Black Sun,” the exhibition about California art from 1974 to 1981 that former Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles chief curator Paul Schimmel organized last fall, seems likely to be remembered as his swan song at the museum. (He departed last week, though he is completing work on “Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949–1962,” which opens in September.)

Just a few days before splitting with MOCA, where he’d been a curator for 22 years, Mr. Schimmel was at Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., to participate in one of many panel discussions held during a weekend conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the school’s Center for Curatorial Studies. The discussion in which Mr. Schimmel took part was titled “Case Studies,” and invited curator panelists to explain how they go about assembling shows. Listening to him talk about and show slides from “Under the Big Black Sun,” which opened last October as part of the Getty’s “Pacific Standard Time” initiative and ran through Feb. 13, provided a window into his curating process. Read More