See also: Jeffrey Deitch Leaving MOCA

MOCA announced tonight that the exit of its controversial and embattled director, Jeffrey Deitch, is official.

The contemporary art museum made the announcement after the Weekly and former Weekly features editor Tom Christie published news of his departure Monday night. Despite those posts, and despite our prophetic reporting that the announcement on the director's last days at MOCA would be made today, the institution insists that …

… Deitch informed the museum's board of trustees only today of his intention to leave.


We reported that it appeared Deitch wanted out by the end of this month. The museum says he'll stay until its $100 million endowment campaign reaches its goal.

The New York Times says MOCA has $75 million worth of pledges already.

MOCA states that a search committee comprising “Maria Bell and David Johnson, along with Joel Wachs, a former trustee and president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts,” has been formed to look for a successor.

Deitch was a rare hire from the gallery world: He has a venue in New York, Deitch Projects, and was a well-known art dealer.

He injected MOCA with youth and pop culture via exhibits such as the record-breaking “Art in the Streets,” but he rubbed many in L.A.'s art establishment the wrong way, and they didn't make his nearly more than three years here easy.

On top of all that, MOCA faced money woes and was even the subject of a takeover offer from a rival, the L.A. County Museum of Art.

Maria Arena Bell, co-chair of the board of trustees:

With one of the most important collections of contemporary art in the world, and a tradition of unparalleled excellence in contemporary exhibitions, we have worked passionately to protect MOCA's place in the cultural landscape. We thank Jeffrey for his continued support and look ahead with great enthusiasm, confident that new leadership will build on this momentum and usher MOCA into a new era of prominence as the museum for the 21st century.

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