Jeffrey Deitch (Image via LATimes)

After a shaky few months in which the gallerist-turned-museum director has faced mounting criticism and opposition for his questionable tactics running the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Jeffrey Deitch may be on his way out.

It’s looking like it’s not a question of if Deitch will leave, but when. We’re already hearing from one reliable Los Angeles source that plans are in the works to replace him. We have not been able to confirm this, but the rumor (it is only a rumor at the moment) is already spreading. MOCA’s press department was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.

Deitch’s time at L.A. MOCA has seen the firing of chief curator Paul Schimmel, the canceling of long-planned exhibitions, the departure of artists like Catherine Opie and John Baldessari from the board, and the creation of an online petition calling for some of Deitch’s curatorial decisions to be reversed (Ken Johnson ain’t the only one targeted by signatures). With the offenses mounting up, it may have simply been too much for the museum to endure.

We’re following up on the rumor and will update this post as more details arise.


We’re now hearing the rumor of Deitch’s leaving MOCA from two different sources. The museum’s press representative Lyn Winter just wrote us an email denying that anything is going on:

This is incorrect. Jeffrey Deitch has no plans to step down.

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Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...

2 replies on “Is Deitch’s Time at MOCA Running Out?”

  1. It would be a real shame if Deitch leaves. He’s got a unique vision and takes chances. Do we really need another conservative museum doing boring academic shows by self-referential modern artists? Deitch understands the connection between art and life. He keeps things interesting and that’s good for art and for blogs like Hyperallergic.

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