Artist John Baldessari Resigns from L.A. MOCA Board

It hasn’t been a good day for Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Hours after the L.A. Times published a letter from four of the museum’s lifetime trustees decrying the current direction of the museum, artist John Baldessari resigned from its board. His decision, according to the LAT, which broke the story, comes in the wake of the outster of the museum’s chief curator Paul Schimmel and other changes at the L.A. museum.

“To live with my conscience I just had to do it,” the esteemed artist told the newspaper. Baldessari had previously expressed dismay with MOCA’s leadership when news broke that the prominent Schimmel had been dismissed. “What propels a good museum is the vision of the curators who are there, their long-term vision for the shows they might do,” Baldessari said, calling Schimmel “a major curator — the breadth and depth of the shows were always amazing, and very important in the art world.”

MOCA has come under fire in recent weeks for its direction under director Jeffrey Deitch. His tenure has seen the ouster of Schimmel and layoffs of other curatorial staff, as well as a move toward entertainment-oriented programming that is more concerned with youth culture than art history.

Baldessari, who has been on MOCA’s board since 2000, is the fifth trustee to leave since February, according to the LAT.

Julia Halperin