Jeffrey Deitch Leaving L.A. MOCA, Returning to New York (UPDATED)

jeffrey-deitch-moca-outArt dealer-turned-museum director Jeffrey Deitch is on his way out at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles according to a source cited by the L.A. Weekly. Though the museum is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday, Deitch reportedly informed its board of his imminent departure on Friday, and has already begun looking for apartment in New York. It’s unclear whether he intends to relaunch his gallery, Deitch Projects.

UPDATE: Former L.A. Weekly editor Tom Christie, who is cited as a source (but not the source in the above-linked L.A. Weekly article), writes on Tumblr that Deitch is allegedly looking for a location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to open a new gallery space. Deitch Projects was based primarily in Soho, where he kept two locations, though he also had a sprawling outpost in Long Island City, Queens.

Deitch’s tenure at MOCA was marked by extremes, with a new institutional attendance record set by the massive street art and graffiti retrospective “Art in the Streets,” but also a mass exodus punctuated by the departure of chief curator Paul Schimmel and all four artist boardmembers — Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Catherine Opie, and Barbara Kruger.

Under Deitch, MOCA also received — and then rejected — takeover and partnership proposals from institutions including LACMA and the National Gallery of Art. In a recent push to remedy its nearly depleted endowment, raising more than $60 million. The museum has allegedly begun its search for a new director.

— Benjamin Sutton

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