MOCA Postpones Gala Amid Turmoil

From Bloomberg News: “The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles isn’t in a party mood this year. The downtown institution, rocked by the departures of board members, won’t hold a gala in 2012, according to an e-mail today from the museum. Past events have included performances by Lady Gaga, Beck and Deborah Harry.

The annual soiree, usually held in November, has been the museum’s largest annual fundraiser, tax filings show. The 2011 gala, which raised $2.5 million, was directed by performance artist Marina Abramovic and featured live nude models rotating on tables, while guests including Pamela Anderson, Kirsten Dunst and Will Ferrell dined in white lab coats.

“This year’s MOCA gala is scheduled for the spring,” MOCA said in the e-mail. “Date to be announced shortly.”

MOCA, which has a collection of almost 6,000 art works, has seen at least seven board members quit this year, including artists Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari.

They have been critical of the museum under Jeffrey Deitch, a former New York gallery owner now serving as director, and were supporters of Paul Schimmel, the long-time chief curator who resigned on June 29.

SOURCE: Katya Kazakina and Christopher Palmeri, “Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum Postpones Gala Amid Turmoil,”, September 6, 2012.