Without doubt the most talked about topic of the year this far(2 weeks in), Jeffrey Deitch was announced as the new Director of LA’s MOCA, leading to the pending closure of NYC’s iconic Deitch Projects, when the Gallerist takes the lead from June 1st. High Profile Art commentator Tyler Green has captured the first interview with Deitch within a day of the announcement. Alot of those beckoning questions are answered in Part 1 of this interview. Read here.
Let’s start with a simple one. As you leave the gallery for MOCA, what do you see as the differences between running a commercial gallery and an art museum?
Jeffrey Deitch: Of course there are major, major differences. One is private-sector, one is public-sector. The museum director is responsible to a very extensive community: All the museum staff, the trustees, the local artists, the local art audience, Los Angeles civic leaders, [people] running other institutions and just the large audience that is here. Everyone is a stakeholder in this. Everybody feels that they are a part of the museum.
It’s nothing like a sole proprietorship. Running an art gallery, you’re only responsible to yourself. It’s maybe not as different as one might think though. The art world also takes a kind of ‘ownership interest’ in any kind of public program, so people who visit exhibitions at my gallery feel free to make public comments and give their suggestions. So I’ve been working in the public arena for many years. Even in a commercial art gallery you are responsible to the artists, the works of art and responsible to uphold the integrity of the art work and the integrity of the field.