Does Deitch Dig Design?

West

Deitch inside his eponymous Soho gallery. He will soon be leaving New York for LA. (Courtesy Scribe Media)

UPDATE: A source close to the museum writes in with this: “Who knows what Deitch will do? It probably depends on what Eli Broad tells him to do.” Which is pretty much what you might have guessed reading the (New York) Timesstory on the whole affair on the Arts front today. Looking for hints in Tyler Green’s first-out-the-gate interview with Deitch, we found none. Design was mentioned exactly once, in reference to a MOCA satellite at the Pacific Design Center. And yet Deitch’s shows and showiness have a certain architectural scale about them. As always, anything goes and anything can happen.

New York uber-collector and bombastic bon vivant Jefferey Deitch has been named director of LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Deitch, a gallerist of late among many other things, has had a storied career, but he becomes about the only art dealer/gallery owner to assume leadership of a major U.S. museum. There has already been much talk about that sacred cow The Art World and What It All Means. But what most concerns us is that, while he is known for developing riské artists and outré installations—Swoon sailing the Hudson was a recent favorite—Deitch has little, or at least less, concern for design than some of his fellow gallerists. This may not bode well for the hope of re-establishing the museum’s recently-gutted architecture department. (Brooke Hodge, curator of architecture was removed last May, and the museum cancelled its blockbuster Morphosis show as well). Granted if Deitch is anything he is unconventional and unexpected, so who knows what could happen. Which is why LA’s gain is New York’s loss, as with the deal comes the closure of one of the most exciting galleries in the country.

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