According to the Los Angeles Times, artists Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie have resigned from the board of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Opie and Kruger join fellow artist and former board member John Baldessari, who sent his letter of resignation on Thursday. Four other board members have also resigned.
Ever since the forced exit of beloved chief curator Paul Schimmel in late June — prompted by his shaky and contentious relationship with museum director Jeffrey Deitch — board and staff members at MOCA have been expressing their discontent by leaving the institution. With Baldessari, Opie and Kruger gone, Ed Ruscha is now the only artist on the museum’s board.
“It has been an honor to serve on the Board. Artists and curators have long been the driving force that have made MOCA the esteemed and powerfully present Museum that it is. And the artist’s presence is felt not only in its great exhibition program and unrivaled collection, but on its Board. But now we wonder if our position on the Board is just symbolic and that our ability to be heard and to suggest and make change has become a kind of inconvenience to the instrumental workings of the Board.”
A former art dealer, Deitch has been a polarizing figure for MOCA ever since he took on the role of director in 2010. According to a post by L.A. Times writer Mike Boehm, Baldessari was particularly displeased when he heard about MOCA’s upcoming show on disco music’s influence on art and culture. In May, actor/director/professor James Franco spearheaded MOCA’s show Rebel held offsite at JF Chen studios in Los Angeles.
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