[UPDATE: The last remaining artist on MOCA’s board, Ed Ruscha, has now also departed.]
The LA Times keeps coming up with daily dispatches about the MOCA mess. Having reported on Friday about artist John Baldessari‘s protest resignation from the museum’s board, it followed up yesterday with news of two more artist-trustee departures—Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie.
In today’s LA Times, arts reporter Jori Finkel has published the full text of Kruger and Opie’s eloquent, poignant joint letter of resignation from MOCA’s board. Here are excerpts:
Can important and serious exhibitions receive funding without a donor having a horse in the race? Is attendance a sustaining revenue stream for museums? Has it ever been? These are questions we have been asking….
Our concerns are with the art, the exhibitions, and how the money that makes the exhibitions possible is gathered and distributed. Our concern is for a continued curatorial practice that is both rigorously complex and pleasurably awesome. Our concern is for a kind of transparency that allows for a Board of Trustees that is not surprised when bad things happen. And when they do, to face them with clarity, candor and intelligence. This requires honest and shared communication involving all the Board Members, not just a select few.
As the serious criticism relentlessly piles up from within MOCA’s ranks and from outside commentators, MOCA needs to address this mushrooming crisis of confidence head-on. Director Jeffrey Deitch has kept a low profile throughout this firestorm, ceding his responsibility as the voice of the institution to life trustee Eli Broad. He now needs to act quickly, decisively and responsibly to restore public trust and artworld confidence, or else fold his party tent.