Tag Archives: fine art

Jerry Saltz at The Broad

by Moira Cue

Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus….

– Homer’s Iliad

I’ve been thinking this week about the rationing of cruelty.

We are told it is ok to euthanize pets, but wrong to euthanize our grandmothers. Which do we love more? Is it more cruel to squeeze the last moments of life from a sentient being who is in terrible pain, or to say, “You’ve had enough?”

How many artists hear of 7-figure sales and think, “It should be me,” and what percentage of those ever get there? What percentage of those who do “make it” had class advantages to begin with? Does struggle make an artist stronger, or does it destroy great art before it is made? Is it kinder to pour weed killer all over an artist’s fragile ego, or mete out cruel truths in small rations….(?)

Jerry Saltz, the Pulitzer-Prize winning art critic, was at The Broad today.  I was there.

Artist Moira Cue with Jerry Saltz at The Broad. Photo Credit: Jared Hedler, 2018.

I was so excited to meet Jerry that I woke up several hours too early with too little sleep under my belt. I recently started following him on Instagram—Jerry, who was once a truck driver, makes my heart pitter-patter with the glee that you feel when someone says out-loud things that you are “not supposed” to say. Overproduction. Hype. Idiocy foisted to the moneyed class as avant-garde. Dirty little secrets.

I’m not saying Saltz’s tell-it-like-it-is style makes him the DJT of the art world. (Or does it? Jerry let us know several times this morning that he is a sociopath. My analysis of Trump is that his narcissism is a dangerously benign mask for his core disorder, sociopathy. Resist_Persist_Repeat)

Side note: An Excerpt from Quora Answer to “How do psychopaths and sociopaths think?” (Courtesy Simon Chatzigiannis)
“Make a plan and execute it. If you don’t exploit people, they will exploit you. That is the way that the world works, and I will stand by that. And it stinks, it stinks so bad, but in order to play, you gotta fight fire with fire. You can’t just back down. You gotta play dirty.”

He continues, “There is no such things as morals. People talk all the time about morals. There’s no morals. Nothing’s right, nothing’s wrong. It is all perception, it is all you perceive. Don’t let anybody tell you anything else. Every situation is different. It is not all black and white.”

For the record, I do not endorse a Machiavellian ethos. Nothing is more destructive in the long run than the abandonment of one’s moral code in the pursuit of power.

When I found out, through Instagram, that Jerry would be at The Broad in Los Angeles, instead of applying for a press pass, I paid $150 to get in. I was afraid tickets would sell out. The man is a rock star.

Jerry was across the street when I arrived, either getting coffee or water. I wanted to be sure he could find convenience store coffee, and I don’t recall our exchange except that he said the word “boom.” I was so groggy I couldn’t process language. There are mostly European-style cafes near The Broad, and the best coffee places (Barista Society, For Five, and Nossa Familia) are closed Saturday. But Jerry drinks American coffee, the 7-11 stuff. If you follow him on Instagram, you’ll see the “Big Gulp” featured prominently.

Anyway, after saying hello, Jerry left while the crowd assembled. Then he came back. We all were admitted with wristbands, and waited for stragglers to show up in the lobby (there were a few nice women there I made friends with immediately).  And then Jerry began his “overly long introduction” and labeled us all vampires. We were game. Following the Pied Piper. He told us he hated all of us. I don’t care about any of you, just the stuff you make. Somehow he deduced that the crowd would be full of artists. No one disabused him of the notion.

The Broad, photo credit: Moira Cue, 2018.

CUT TO: The Lobby, Below the Escalator (Jerry declared this area the museum’s duodenum, due to its unique architectural attributes). Just for the occasion, I was wearing my “love” earring on one ear and my “hate” earring on the other. Jerry pretended to monologue as if he was a painting. “Come here….” The painting plays a game of mystery and seduction.

The Broad, Photo Credit: Moira Cue, 2018

According to Jerry, cities vote Democratic because love is the glue that keeps our innate hostility from taking over. Whereas, in flyover country, people are so far apart they don’t have to use love as a connective tissue. The hostility hardens to hate, and they vote Republican. (His words, not mine, but I’ve bastardized them completely.)

Photo Credit: Moira Cue

Next week, he tells us, he will publish a numbered list of rules in New York Magazine. He will return to this topic to let us know the list includes “Though shalt not envy…” At the top of the escalator we are greeted by a big shiny Koons. I thought the subject was balloons, but they’re called tulips. They looked exactly like tulips made out of those long skinny balloons though, not real tulips, but oversized balloon tulips cast in a reflective stainless steel.

I think of Koons as a big balloon.  And I think how these are the works that attract people who only go to museums to take selfies in front of the art. And I can’t get past the wall that says “means of production is mine,” and I don’t like bright shiny objects. I like dirty, broken objects. Stains on sidewalks. Displays of dexterity. Things with layers. But we say nice things in The Hollywood Sentinel, that’s our schtick. So kudos to Koons for positioning and marketing himself so well. It’s not an easy accomplishment.

To consider Koons in the best light, I should ponder the artist’s generosity and glee. (When my cat brings the severed head of a mouse, I know she means well.) Knowing that Koons experiences pleasure from things that repel me (plastic toys, artificial things, etc.) I can consider that perhaps in the giving of what is beloved, his intentions are kind. I had never thought of that before. This is Jerry’s influence. He also writes that what we hate in another artist’s work is often something inside of us. Which gives pause to consideration.

 

Jerry addressed us as devotees, as children, and, worst of all, as *aspiring artists.* And by worst of all, I mean, it felt like one of those Hollywood parties that doubles as an open call. Where you know someone who was invited by a friend of a friend will embarrass himself and try to give the host a headshot.

So, we started with Koons, and then we discussed Mehretu, Bradford, and market corrections regarding women and people of color in the art world. I think he overstated the good news for women and POC’s. (Out of the 100 most expensive paintings ever sold at auction, not a single female artist is represented.) He talked about market corrections, and we didn’t get into the role of historical excavation. But based on his statements on Hilma Af Klint, I know he’s thought about the issue.

Next we visited a Warhol room.

“What do you see? I want you to see the subject and not see the subject.”

“What is the subject?” “How is this created?”

He talked about Warhol as a train that rattled the tracks. Warhol shook everything.

In the next room he talked about Johns, who dreamt he painted the American flag, and woke up, and painted the flag. When asked about the materials, an audience member pointed out that encaustic won’t bleed colors. I said encaustic also served as an adhesive to hold the newspaper to the canvas. Jerry went after Mehretu (again). He said her thoughts about diaspora weren’t embedded in the work. Ouch.

And this is a whole other topic, where social issues are used to justify an artist making whatever type of work she wants. Does the text used to market the work actually relate to the work? (Or, in the words of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy CEU I was listening to at 3:00 am recently, is language the cause of suffering? Why do we rely on words to validate pictures?)

I digress.

Recently, I saw the work of an artist of Middle Eastern descent. These were luxurious semi-Westernized nude figures in the Persian miniature tradition, but large scale, on fine linen. The accompanying booklet of text contained a didactic lecture about the refugee crisis. Of course we all care about refugees, but the artist insisted on a non-existent relationship. All I could do was inwardly roll my eyes, and leave. [End rant.]

Jerry mentioned that he could take Mehretu’s work, put it in another gallery, and tell us it was a third-string AbEx artist from the fifties. I.e. She was “thinking about the diaspora” my -ss.

We moved on to Ellsworth Kelly (shape and color; eliminate the artist’s hand) and he asked me to stop answering questions and give someone else a turn. This, of course, was embarrassing. Luckily I wear big girl panties now. So no biggie.

Jerry Saltz, Photo Credit: Moira Cue, 2018

Channeling Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook:
Somewhere around the third or fourth time Jerry used the word sociopath, after Ellsworth Kelly, I began to wonder if I was a sociopath, or a conditional sociopath, a compartmentalized sociopath. Is it fun to be a sociopath? How can I be a sociopath if I’m also an empath? Is the empathy I display “displayed empathy”? What if there’s another layer of me that has no empathy? Is art a no-empathy zone in my life? Is empathy a form of cruelty? I started to feel like I was wearing myself in layers. This hysterical panic lasted a full forty-five seconds.

Then, Ed Ruscha. We looked at Norms on Fire. We talked about LA cool. We talked about working outdoors, being outdoors, Pop art and the everyday. Then we moved on to Anselm Kiefer.

We completely ignored Beuys(!)

Our path also avoided many Lichtenstein’s, and Barbara Kruger. And that giant table and chairs that people always take pictures of themselves under.

The Kiefer was not a particularly good one (compared to the rest of his oeuvre). It was done in charcoal and light washes (Jerry thinks he did rubbings, but I respectfully posit the grainlines in the wood are created via draftsmanship; the perspective gives it away). This painting, Deutschlands Geisteshelden (Germany’s spiritual heroes) visits the theme of post-war German identity. I think Nürnberg, also in the Broad collection, but not currently on display, is a better painting. Kiefer is best doing what he is known for—tactile surfaces, layers of paint three inches deep. But Jerry wanted to talk about what if your parents were Nazis. Can good people love bad people?

By the time we got to Kiefer, the museum had opened, and a troop of Brownies wandered through. “How do we get out?” Jerry asked. “Through Twombly!” I replied. Of course. I’d forgotten to shut up. He said he wasn’t going to talk about Twombly. We were probably 45 minutes over our allotted time by that point. But he couldn’t help himself. He asked us about Twombly’s pencil scrawls of genitals or hearts; love or war, and he talked about how real Twombly’s vulnerability was. Radical vulnerability. He announced we’d wrap up with selfies for everyone, and I blurted out that we’d missed Basquiat.

Jean-Paul, I’m sorry. It was not to be.

Last stop, Kara Walker. Jerry made white girls in nice clothes say dirty words. “What is going on here? I want you to SAY IT OUTLOUD.” Kara, like Mehretu, was his student at RISD. Even then, she was doing cutouts. When Jerry first saw her, he looked over her shoulder chills went up and down his spine and electricity through his head and he said to himself, “I’m not going to say anything to this artist and f— it up.” Speaking of f bombs, he also said we should all have a sign over our studio door. The sign over his typewriter says, “I’m not going to f— it up again this time.” (Something like that.)

And then, the lecture concluded and we were given an opportunity to ask questions. One young lady (in a leopard print jumpsuit) for some reason, maybe the Beatles effect, looked like she was about to cry. She asked about the gallery system, mega-galleries, etc. Another woman asked about pricing, and mentioned her work had been at Basel, but didn’t sell. Tough break. Jerry started talking about Koons again. In the early days, Koons price gouged himself and sold work at a loss. He sacrificed his children. “Anything you do, any price you pay, for your art is ok!”

In front of Lari Pittman, we took selfies.

I waited to be last, and then I hated the way the picture turned out, and hated myself for posing for a photo with Jerry like a groupie. Jerry said “You did good,” which translates to “you talk a lot,” and then he said “You’re a real artist,” and I said, “whatever.” Then I all but ran out of the museum with my hair on fire, as shocked at the word “whatever” coming out of my mouth as I was when my eighty-plus year old father used it.

Outside, I had a cup of tea. I sat near the grass, after trying to talk to another troupe of Brownies who were offended because they were actually Girl Scouts and I didn’t know the difference. I thought Brownies wore brown and Girl Scouts wore green. But these Girl Scouts wore brown and didn’t look any older than the Brownies. So I stuck to singing “Leaving on a Jet Plane” along with a sidewalk musician:
So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go …

… then went back to pay my respect to Basquiat. And I thought about the question I’d asked, back at Walker, about the arc of a painter’s career. And my follow up question, what about the roses? Who gets better with time? Hodgkin, who else? Most all of them get worse, or plateau, at best. What about Twombly’s roses? I’m not sold, but I can’t write them off. They’re stuck in my craw.

The Twombly room has the iconic neutral palette work, sculptures that no one looks at, and one of the late roses, with an inscription. I had asked Jerry what he thought about the roses, and Jerry asked me what I thought, before saying “color is good” and they’re “a little dry.” At least I think it was a little dry, or, something to that effect.

I’ve read the glowing reviews but I’m not fully sold. Did Twombly go Pop at the end? Is that it?

I went back again, to this painting, to look for Twombly in Twombly and I see he’s already left us. Someone else is there instead. Is this really a burst of bloom or an obtuse inaccessibility—the moment of being so present that one is gone, the point in the Monad where fullness and nothingness, yin and yang, emerge from each other? Do we assign false significance to late work, or do we attack it because we no longer understand it? Roses are loaded. Are these too grandiose a farewell, or betting the House one last time and failing? Again, I return to the idea that he’s suddenly integrated the Pop movement into his signature style. The Twombly roses remind me of Warhol’s flowers.

Rose V, at The Broad, contains the following inscription of a section of a poem by Rilke:

Infinitely at ease
despite so many risks,
with no variation
of her usual routine,
the blooming rose is the omen
of her immeasurable endurance.

Jerry Saltz, Photo Credit: Moira Cue, 2018

I watched a pretty little girl, no more than eight, pose in front of the painting. Once she knew it was a painting of roses, she liked it. And I remembered suddenly I’d also made an appointment to see a video installation by Jordan Wolfson, called “Female Figure.” I signed up on a whim, because I tried to walk in and couldn’t, and the attendant told me to come back in 15 minutes when there was a spot open due to cancellation.

I enter this room and the first thing I see is a stripper, who turns out to be a robot. You might be confused if you were only looking at her rear end. She’s very life-like. And the voice in the sound installation says, “My mother’s dead, my father’s dead, I’m gay, I’d like to be a poet. This is my house.” Our stripper wears a green mask with the visage of an evil witch, and she twerks to dance music, and makes eye contact, and tells you what to do.

You kind of had to be there.

This content is ©2018, Moira Cue, Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.

Jean Luc Godard: One Plus One at MOCA

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Obodo (Country/City/Town/Ancestral Village), 2018, adhesive vinyl, courtesy of the artist, The Museum of Contemporary Art,  Los Angeles, and Victoria Miro, London / Venice, photo by Elon Schoenholz. Used with kind courtesy of MOCA, all rights reserved.

One Plus One, more commonly known as Sympathy for the Devil after it was re-edited by its producer, is one of the most complex and provocative films of 1968.  Director Jean-Luc Godard intercuts footage of the Rolling Stones working on the song “Sympathy for the Devil” with other scenes examining capitalism, activism, and political conflict. Godard’s original edit, which was screened in its first year but not regularly distributed in the United States since, has been restored by ABKCO and made its Los Angeles premiere at MOCA. The film was shown on a 4K projector with Dolby sound. This program is part of Filmforum’s 1968: Visions of Possibilities, which presents films that reflect on the turbulent global events of 1968 fifty years later.  (source: MOCA)

The film screened on Thursday, Nov 8, 2018, at 7pm at MOCA Grand, Los Angeles, to a nearly sold out theatre. Legendary 1+1 Cinematographer Anthony B. Richmond was present to introduce the film, who has also lensed such classic films as; The Rolling Stones: Rock and Roll Circus, The Beatles: Let It Be, The Man Who Fell to Earth (David Bowie), Heart of Darkness, Indian Runner (Director; Sean Penn), the classic Clive Barker horror film Candyman, and countless more.

Blending rare, compelling footage of the Rolling Stones in a large, rough studio working on take after take of “Sympathy for the Devil,” Godard and Richmond bring unforgettable shots of the Stones in unpredictable, entertaining compositions, compelling for any Rolling Stones fan.

With dynamic, outstanding sound that soared beautifully in MOCA, the music of the Rolling Stones brilliance, with their rare cuts here, are boldly juxtaposed with Godard’s sporadic and notorious enfant’ terrible aggression upon the audience with an occasional blasted reverb feedback, and the political philosophical musings by bands of outsiders.  Revolutionaries including Black Panther-esque militants, an actress wandering in a UK forest who answers nothing but “yes” or “no,” and a radical voice-over narrator whose audio track is generally overlaid directly on top of the other vocal track of the scene the viewer is watching, makes the foley track of this film as daring as the motion picture itself.

This technique, mastered by Godard, results in the colliding voices of a devious, hallucinogenic, audio assault upon the viewer / listener, that while at times dreadfully annoying, is simultaneously brilliant.  Godard at times moves the microphones from one scene closer and farther away, creating a parade of sound coming and going, as the narrator track fades in and out, signaling not only time and space, but the destruction of space-time, and form itself.

A car graveyard, filled with the beautiful destruction and decay of chipped and smashed colors of metal, stacked and lined beautifully in rows of life and death, blend into the dirt of the Earth, as Richmond pans back and forth as revolutionary black brothers throw each other machine guns ready to take down the man.  A montage of art itself, the wasted vehicles symbolize a dying industry;  a broken and collapsing society, re-appropriated by revolutionaries ready to take back their power by any means necessary, yet later talking it out and discovering–after a few sacrificial deaths–violence is “not” the answer.

As notable Hollywood Sentinel art and literature critic Moira Cue comments, “Godard exemplified in One Plus One the fact that rock music had become the new form of political revolution to get the message to the masses.”

While Godard’s fleeting brush with Communist Marxism is exemplified in the film; the message that “all progress is rooted not in the industrialized masses controlled by the state, but rather in those achievements by the  individual,” may not be accurate in  literal interpretation; as one ponders the creation for example, of Egypt’s great pyramids made by the dreadful toil if the Egyptian slaves; and yet, we can irrefutably agree, that all good “moral progress” is rooted ‘not’ in the coercive exploitation of the ruling political class, but rather;  is found in the egalitarian ideal of the freedom of the individual to pursue his or her own unrestrained creativity, without regard for the whims, wishes, or commands of the tyrannical powers that be.

It is with the beauty of that such anarchist ideal, with the celebration of freedom at its core, that Jean Luc Godard ascended to his heights of greatness, and forever stays as one cinema’s most stunning, innovative, daring, and brilliant voices of all time.

A very special thanks to the vision of MOCA and FILMFORUM for bringing this masters work to the museum, along with Anthony B. Richmond.

MOCA’s New Board Members 

The Board of Trustees of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA),  announced Monday the addition of five new members: Dr. Adrian Cheng, Marina Kellen French, Simon Mordant, Sean Parker, and Julia Stoschek. The members bring an international outlook, various industry backgrounds, and deep commitment to the arts. They each add strength to an expanded and invigorated MOCA Board.

“I am thrilled and proud to welcome such an esteemed group of new trustees,” said MOCA Board Chair Maria Seferian. “Each of our new trustees is a leader in his or her industry and a deeply dedicated philanthropist who has contributed to many important causes around the world. MOCA is embarking on a new chapter, and we are all very excited about what’s to come.”

“I am humbled and grateful to welcome five extraordinary philanthropists, leading art specialists, and pioneering supporters of the arts and social causes to the board of MOCA,” said Klaus Biesenbach, the Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art. “Each, in their own way, brings a unique knowledge and experience to the Board that will broaden and strengthen the growth of the museum going forward.”

Dr. Adrian Cheng joins the MOCA Board from Hong Kong. Mr. Cheng is an internationally-renowned businessman. He is currently the Executive Chairman and General Manager of New World Development and the Executive Director of the Chow Tai Fook Capital Limited. Mr. Cheng is also the founder of the K11 Art Foundation (KAF) and has been awarded the prestigious officier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres. Mr. Cheng is active in contemporary art; he is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Museum of China Foundation, Director of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (CAFAM) Funds, and a trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts, is a member of TATE’s Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee, among others.

Marina Kellen French joins the MOCA Board from New York City. Ms. French is an internationally-recognized, lifelong philanthropist and avid supporter of the arts. She has been a trustee of the Metropolitan Opera and on the trustee council The National Gallery in Washington, D.C. for thirty-eight years. Ms. French is also on the Board of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, The Hospital for Special Surgery, and The American Academy, Berlin and is a Life Trustee of both the Morgan Library and of WNET, Channel 13. She is the Vice President of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation and the President of the Marina Kellen French Foundation. Ms. French was awarded the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany for all she has done for German American relations.

Simon Mordant AM joins the MOCA Board from Sydney, Australia. Mr. Mordant is Executive Co Chairman and co-founder of Luminis Partners, a leading corporate advisory and investment banking firm associated with Evercore. Mr. Mordant is a decades-long, passionate collector of contemporary art. He is Chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), a Trustee of the American Academy in Rome, a director of MoMA PS1, a member of the Tate and MOMA International Councils and was twice Australia’s Commissioner at the Venice Biennale. Mr. Mordant was awarded an AM, being made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for Services to the Arts.

Sean Parker joins the MOCA Board from Los Angeles. Mr. Parker is an internationally-renowned entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies and organizations. Together with his wife Alexandra Parker, he is an avid collector of contemporary art and committed philanthropist. The Parkers founded the Parker Foundation in 2015 with a focus on large-scale systemic changes in life sciences, global public health and civic engagement.

Julia Stoschek joins the MOCA Board from Berlin, Germany.  She is the founder of the Julia Stoschek Collection, which is a leading international collection of time-based art. The collection is based in Dusseldorf and Berlin and includes more than 800 works of time-based, performance and installation art from the 1960s onward. She is a world-recognized philanthropist and affiliated with many institutions, including the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, where she serves as Vice Chair. Furthermore, she is a member of the acquisition committee at Kunstsammlung NRW, Duesseldorf, Tate Council, London and Committee of Performance at the Whitney Museum, New York.

MOCA Selects former MoMA Curator as New Director

MOCA Director Klaus-Biesenbach; ©2018, MOCA, Photo Credit: Casey Kelbaugh

Following a wide-ranging international search, the Board of Trustees of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, today voted to appoint the internationally acclaimed museum director Klaus Biesenbach as MOCA’s next director.

A visionary museum leader, Biesenbach comes to MOCA from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where he has served as director of MoMA PS1 and chief curator at large of MoMA since 2010.

During his leadership at the institution, the former P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art was transformed into the thriving MoMA PS1, with Biesenbach becoming known for championing emerging artists throughout the New York area, advocating for programs that made PS1 a gathering place for popular, multidisciplinary, in-the-moment artmaking and discussion.

During his tenure as director of MoMA PS1, the Board of Trustees was expanded from 11 to 30 members, and the budget more than doubled to accompany successful programmatic and institutional growth.

As director of MOCA, Biesenbach will assume executive leadership of one of the most important museums of contemporary art in the world, holding an extraordinary collection comprising more than 7,000 objects and a record of organizing international, diverse, ground‐breaking, and scholarly exhibitions.

MOCA is the only independent, artist‐founded museum in Los Angeles dedicated solely to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art.

Installation view of Selections from the Permanent Collection, September 13, 2016–
ongoing, at MOCA Grand Avenue, ©2018, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, photo by Brian Forrest.

In 2013, MOCA successfully completed an unprecedented endowment campaign to bring its endowment to over $100 million, and it now stands at over $130 million.

Maurice Marciano and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, co-chairs of MOCA’s Board of Trustees, said, “On behalf of ourselves and the entire Board, we want to thank the search and selection committee, especially the artists, for bringing this process to such an outstanding conclusion. The Board is excited to welcome Klaus Biesenbach, one of the world’s most knowledgeable, wide-ranging, and innovative museum executives of contemporary art. We also extend our warmest appreciation to Philippe Vergne for his service to MOCA.”

Maria Seferian, president of MOCA’s Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee, said, “We are proud to have undertaken a thorough and international search, conducted with the indispensable participation of our artist trustees. The Board is aligned in our support of Klaus and thrilled that he has accepted our offer.”

Catherine Opie said, “It’s been crucial to me, Barbara Kruger, Mark Bradford, and Mark Grotjan, as some of the artists on the Board, that we’ve had a strong voice in the selection process. I want everyone in our community to know that we’re thrilled to have Klaus Biesenbach join us. He comes to MOCA with a level of mutual trust with artists that is crucial for everything this museum does today, and that we hope it will be able to do in the future.”

According to the New York Times, Deborah McLeod, director of the Beverly Hills branch of Gagosian stated that the hire of Klaus Biesenbach “radically good news,” and reportedly stating that “MOCA needs this level of organizational leadership and vision.”

Hollywood Sentinel Publisher Bruce Edwin, who also represents numerous Masterworks of fine art in private collection states, “I am very pleased about MOCA’s new appointment of Mr. Biesenbach. Like Jeffery Deitch before him, I think he has  great style and taste. I am excited to see the cool new shows that will be coming to MOCA thanks to Klaus’ extraordinary vision.” 

Klaus Biesenbach stated, “Like so many of my colleagues around the world, I have long seen MOCA as one of the most vital institutions in our field. It is humbling to be invited to lead a museum that has already achieved so much, and that in so many ways represents the highest aspirations of contemporary art. With my gratitude to the search committee and the entire Board of Trustees, I look forward to serving MOCA’s constituencies, its increasingly large and diverse public, the artists’ community, and of course all residents of Los Angeles to the very best of my abilities.”

Klaus Biesenbach began his career in Berlin as founder of Kunst-Werke (KW) Institute for Contemporary Art (1990) and the Berlin Biennale (1996), the exhibition that confirmed Berlin’s international reputation as a leading city where artists live and work.

He came to New York in 1995 to serve as curator at P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art (later MoMA PS 1). There, with Alanna Heiss, he created the Warm Up outdoor summer series of live and electronic music, which has been widely emulated by other museums around the world, co-founded the now-legendary Greater New York exhibition series, which showcases emerging talent from everywhere in the metropolitan region, and with former MoMA Associate Director Kathy Halbreich, established the popular, multidisciplinary Sunday Sessions, which are housed in the winter under a geodesic dome.

In 2006, he was named chief curatorial advisor at PS1 and founding Chief Curator of MoMA’s newly formed Department of Media, which he broadened through performance workshops and acquisitions, and, in 2009, he became founding Chief Curator of the Department of Media and Performance Art.

His performance workshop at MoMA, which brought together museum directors, curators, scholars, and artists, culminated in the acquisition of The Kiss by Tino Sehgal, the first completely immaterial work in MoMA’s collection, and the exhibitions of Tehching Hsieh and Marina Abramovic, which established performance art as one of the necessary disciplines in museums throughout the world. Biesenbach has pioneered the ongoing Rockaway! public arts festival in response to Hurricane Sandy, which has featured site-specific works by Janet Cardiff, Patti Smith, Katharina Grosse, and Yayoi Kusama, among others.

THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES (MOCA)

About MOCA: Founded in 1979, MOCA’s vision is to be the defining museum of contemporary art. In a relatively short period of time, MOCA has achieved astonishing growth with three Los Angeles locations of architectural renown; a world-class permanent collection of more than 7,000 objects, international in scope and among the finest in the world; hallmark education programs that are widely emulated; award-winning publications that present original scholarship; groundbreaking monographic, touring, and thematic exhibitions of international repute that survey the art of our time. MOCA is a not-for-profit institution that relies on a variety of funding sources for its activities.

Hours of Operation 

Hours: MOCA Grand Avenue (located at 250 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles) is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11am to 6pm; Thursday from 11am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm; and closed on Tuesday.

The MOCA Store at MOCA Grand Avenue is open Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 10:30am to 5:30pm; Thursday from 10:30am to 8:30pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 6:30pm.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (located at 152 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012) has the same hours as MOCA Grand Avenue during exhibitions. Please call ahead or go to moca dot org for the exhibition schedule for The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

MOCA Pacific Design Center (located at 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069) is open Tuesday through Friday from 11am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm; and closed on Monday.

Museum Admission: General admission is free for all MOCA members.

General admission is also free for everyone at MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm, courtesy of Wells Fargo. General admission is always free at MOCA Pacific Design Center.

General admission at MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is $15 for adults; $8 for students with I.D.; $10 for seniors (65+); and free for children under 12 and jurors with I.D.

More Information: For 24-hour information on current exhibitions, education programs, and special events, call 213-626-6222 or access MOCA online at www.moca.org

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