Generation Gap: In Defense of Deitch by Aaron Rose

Aaron Rose, filmmaker and co-curator of the exhibitions “Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture” (2003) and “Art in the Streets” (MOCA, 2010), weighs in on the current debate surrounding MOCA.

He writes, “There has been a lot of gab around the Los Angeles art scene recently with respect to the resignation of four important artists from the board of trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Over the last week, John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie and Ed Ruscha have all left in protest of the dismissal/resignation of chief curator Paul Schimmel. Much has been written over the last days about this subject, mostly criticizing Jeffrey Deitch and MoCA for their current stance in terms of exhibitions and practices, yet I have not heard any from the industry, be it dealers, curators or artists speak out in Deitch or the museum’s defense.

I’ve personally had the pleasure of working with Jeffrey Deitch in various situations – both in New York when he had his gallery and then again last summer at MoCA where we worked together on the exhibition Art In The Streets. Over the course of the years I have watched Deitch champion the work of some of the greatest artists of my generation, be it through exhibitions, financial support or the general facilitation of creative ideas. I must stress the words “My Generation” because mine is not the generation of Baldessari, Kruger, Opie and Ruscha. While I have great respect for what those artists have achieved, and I truly understand the walls each has broken down in their particular way, I must admit that for the most part they are not creating imagery that is relevant to the current century.

As this world is changing it is important for young artists to speak for the time in which we live. While the MoCA served as that for many artists from previous generations at crucial moments in their careers, could it possibly be time to pass the torch to the next? Isn’t this the function of a contemporary art museum?”

SOURCE: Aaron Rose, “Generation Gap: In Defense of Deitch,”, July 18, 2012. Continue reading at link below: