POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Image via: The L Magazine
This week at The L Magazine I follow up on the story of Jeffrey Deitch and his new appointment as the Director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA). The teaser below.
This week in The Wall Street Journal, Berkley economics professor Brad Delong described the current economic downturn as “a depression.” We’re not reliving the 1930s, but let’s face it—those aren’t comforting words. In fact, they’re the kind of statements fueling speculation that Soho dealer Jeffrey Deitch closed up shop because the gallery was suffering financial losses, rather than a simple desire to pursue a new career direction as the Director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA). Last Monday, the museum announced Deitch would take the position and cease all his commercial activity as a dealer. His new job will consist primarily of pulling the financially troubled museum out of the deep water, supporting curators and developing new programming.
This has a number of effects worth discussing, not the least of which is its impact on the Soho art scene. Guild & Greyshkul—an artist-run gallery known for its strong programming—closed last year, leaving only a few non-profits like Location One, the Drawing Center, and Team Gallery and a sparse number of commercial spaces, with Team, Spencer Brownstone and Harris Lieberman Gallery among them. Deitch maintained two locations in Soho, each turning over new shows monthly. Likely a result of this volume of activity, most New York-based artists I know have at least one or two friends who have shown at the venue and many more acquaintances. Whether or not the programming was consistent, it’s hard to deny the mark Deitch left on the scene.
To read the full piece click here.