Breaking: L.A. MOCA Will Not Replace Paul Schimmel as Chief Curator

L.A. MOCA, which saw the departure of its highly-regarded chief curator Paul Schimmel on Wednesday, has no plans to replace him, according to a museum representative. “Its [MOCA’s] curatorial vision will be implemented by director Jeffrey Deitch, the curatorial team, and guest curators,” the rep told ARTINFO in an e-mail on Friday afternoon.

A press release issued on Friday conspicuously made no mention of any plans to initiate an international search for Schimmel’s replacement. The release said Schimmel would be “stepping down” to become an independent curator. In honor of his 22-year tenure, MOCA will name a 40,000 square foot exhibition space at Geffen Contemporary — a former police warehouse in Little Tokyo that Schimmel has frequently used for exhibitions — in his honor.

Earlier today, the Los Angeles Times reported that three curatorial assistants had been let go from the museum as well. Two other creative staff members who left in 2009 and early 2010 have not been replaced, according to the Times: Ari Weisman, the deputy museum director who became an executive at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and Ann Goldstein, the MOCA senior curator who took over as director of the Stedelijk Museum early in 2010.

The museum has confirmed that three curators remain at MOCA: Alma Ruiz, who has been with the museum since the 1980s, Bennett Simpson, who joined in 2007, and Rebecca Morse.

Julia Halperin