More on Deitch @ MoCA
My Op-Ed for the Art Newspaper on how easy it is to move from the non-profit to the commerical sector in the art world, but not the other way around, posted today:
Oddly, the degree of pre-emptive suspicion over such a move seems inversely proportional to how successful the mover has been in the commercial art world. In dismissing comparisons between Deitch and Walter Hopps (who had left Los Angeles’s Ferus Gallery to become curator and eventually director of the Pasadena Museum of Art), for example, Knight wrote that “no one would ever mistake the mercurial Hopps for a sharp businessman”. This suggestion that Hopps’s lack of commercial acumen made him a better choice as museum director is not supported by evidence readily available in Los Angeles.
Former commercial dealer-director Ann Philbin, now director of the Hammer Museum at UCLA, is widely viewed as having transformed that institution from a quiet regional museum into an international destination. Yes, Philbin also served as director of New York’s non-profit Drawing Center before moving to LA, but Deitch (despite widespread insistence that he had no museum experience) has also been a curator at the De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts.