Next Up at LA MOCA? Nada

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Photo: Courtesy the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

After seeming to rebound from a spate of several years of troubles that set Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) back, the museum apparently has very little on its exhibition schedule for the upcoming year, which doesn’t bode well. According to the Los Angeles Times, the several spaces under MOCA’s aegis are oddly unbooked.

After the Mike Kelley show closes today, July 28, the warehouse space will be indefinitely closed for unspecified repairs to the roof. At Geffen Contemporary, the exhibition schedule is blank. At the MOCA building on Grand Avenue, after a show of Warhol’s silkscreened “Shadows,” which opens in September, no follow-up show is lined up. The only specific show on the docket is “Cameron: Song for the Witch Woman,” an exhibition at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood of drawings, paintings, and ephemera by the late Marjorie Cameron Parsons Kimmel, a follower of famed British occultist Aleister Crowley. While that show sounds totally great, when it ends in January, there’s nothing else planned in the space until the following September.

What’s odd is that the picture at MOCA had been looking decidedly better. Dia Art Foundation Philippe Vergne came on board to helm the flagging museum, and in late May he tapped Helen Molesworth as chief curator, and one or two more curators are expected to be brought on. Also in May, artists John Baldessari, Catherine Opie, and Barbara Kruger rejoined the board of trustees (see artnet News report). And the economic situation is on the upswing too, with recent fundraising efforts pushing the endowment to over $100 million, or five times as much of any in MOCA’s history.

“It doesn’t come from lack of trying,” writes Christopher Knight. “The gap is merely a legacy of the last few tumultuous years at the museum. Vergne inherited an empty schedule, and he is scurrying to find ways to fill it.”

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