MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch steps down from his position

© LA Times

Jeffrey Deitch

MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch is parting ways with the Los Angeles institution, the AO reports via LA Weekly.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells the Weekly that Deitch will soon announce his departure, and that he is currently looking for apartments in New York City.

Deitch was appointed to the position in early 2010, and quickly has managed to raise considerable funds this year from a number of Los Angeles patrons and donors. But he has also caused some indignation at the museum when he pushed out chief curator Paul Schimmel. John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie and Ed Ruscha then on the MOCA board, resigned. Eventually, the museum's finances were bad enough in March that the rival L.A. County Museum of Art proposed taking it over.

But Deitch claims that the “controversy” over his tenure at the museum “doesn’t have anything to do with reality,”  With successful exhibitions such as the "Art in the Streets" graffiti art show, the numbers of visitors have increased over the past three years, and his fundraising galas were often the talk of the city.  Deitch has also received recognition for pushing the museum’s online presence forward, as well as driving a new curatorial vision that has included the purchase of major works by young artists like Ryan Trecartin.

“I suppose it’s characteristic of the movie industry that people are in and out. In New York I was always really appreciated for my contribution, but you would think that all I’ve done here is court Hollywood and do celebrity art.”  Deitch said earlier this year in a New York Times Interview.