About four years after ending a tumultuous stint as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Deitch is back for a Hollywood sequel. This time, he’ll be opening his own gallery in a 15,000-square-foot space at 925 North Orange Drive, on a strip adjacent to galleries such as Regen Projects, Hannah Hoffman, and Various Small Fires, the New York Times reports. Programming will commence in the fall, and will consist of three shows a year.
“When you do shows that are museum-level, you don’t want to take them down after a month,” he said.
The first show will be “The Extreme Present,” a survey of “the legacy of Dada and Pop Art in the digital age” that takes its name from a book by Shumon Basar, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and Douglas Coupland. (M.H. Miller reviewed the tome for these pages in 2015.)
The decision to open in L.A. comes as the wounds of his heavily criticized tenure at MOCA are, for some, not yet healed. After three years of enduring board resignations and widespread displeasure with his catholic tastes in exhibition topics (street art, disco, James Franco), he stepped down and began a fresh start back in New York. Within a year, he had reopened his two old spaces in SoHo. It seemed like he was settled here.
But he tells the Times that he was itching to get back out west, on his own terms.
“I had a very good experience in Los Angeles nonetheless, and made a lot of friends here,” he said. “Running MOCA was a privilege and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. But I’m much better suited to running my own situation, where I can make all the creative decisions.”
Deitch tells the Times that the shows at the Los Angeles space will cater to Tinseltown’s entertainment-minded appetites, and cross over into the arenas of performance, film, music and fashion. In the story, Deitch brought up the fact that he has, in the past, collaborated with creative figures in these different fields, such as the filmmaker and performance artist Miranda July, the fashion designer and photographer Hedi Slimane, and the fashion line Rodarte.