Is MOCA’s Board the Better for the Return of the Big 3 Artists?



As reported in Artnet, artists John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, and Catherine Opie have rejoined the MOCA board after resigning in protest during the troubled tenure of former director Jeffrey Deitch. The artists left the board ultimately over Deitch’s firing of longtime MOCA curator Paul Schimmel.

While the return of well-known artists will arguably create goodwill for MOCA, they (along with three other non-artists who have also rejoined) were at the helm during the worst crisis in the history of the institution, and one wonders about the strength of leadership they will bring (back).

There is an argument to be made that, however much a disaster Jeffrey Deitch was (and he was certainly a disaster), he was hired to make changes, not keep things the same. Did the board members who resigned in protest never ask the hard questions of Deitch during the hiring process? Did nobody say, “What do you think about Paul?” Rather than running to fetch their smelling saltsĀ en masse, the departed board members should have looked in the mirror. The job of a board is to hire and fire the director, and Deitch’s tenure, and his decisions, lay at everyone’s feet — even the members who’s last names weren’t Broad.



also by Glasstire

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