The Mess That Jeffrey Deitch Made

by Paddy Johnson on November 9, 2010 · 6 comments Newswire

Rob Pruitt as Jeffrey Deitch

More chatter about whether Jeffrey Deitch should be at the helm of MOCA. Well, sort of. Jed Perl talks about Leo Castelli at The New Republic (it’s paywalled), and LA Culture Monster discusses his thoughts on Deitch, within the larger piece.

Anyway, Perl’s no Deitch fan. “For Jeffrey Deitch has always been a certain kind of dealer, more involved with art as contemporary spectacle than with art itself. And that is not the kind of person you want to see at the helm of a museum.” Now, I’d counter that despite the schlock, Deitch Projects has also produced a number of recent shows that were pretty good — Miranda July, Chris Johansen, and Ben Jones amongst them — but in the space of only six months he’s demonstrated that no benefit of the doubt needs to be given. For one, he replaced a long slated Jack Goldstein show with an exhibition of the late-actor Dennis Hopper. Goldstein’s work deserves exposure from an institution like MoCA, Hopper’s does not. But this in minor compared to submitted soap star James Franco as America’s Venice Biennale representative. Franco is still a student and his work reflects it. Acting as though that’s not the case could embarrass the country on an international scale. Hello distaster!


Lorna Mills November 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm

“these works are characterized by gratuitous self-absorption: a problem the theme of excess is meant to excuse”

Great turn of phrase Paddy. How many times have we endured some mediocrity with a theme meant to excuse its failings. (I think I’ve done it a few times myself)

Ccheh November 9, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I thought the Franco/Biennale thing was an April Fool’s joke?

Anonymous November 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Was it? I drew that from the New York Observer. They didn’t report it as such.

David November 10, 2010 at 4:56 am

Allora & Calzadilla were announced as the US representatives to the Venice Biennale in early September.

np November 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm
Edward_ November 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Best April Fool’s joke ever, apparently 🙂

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