Deitch: first glimpse of plans for Los Angeles

The Museum of Contemporary Art could see Ofili's Tate survey enter its doors


The Tate’s major survey of Chris Ofili’s work could be on its way to Los Angeles from London, an audience learned at the inaugural Robert Rosenblum lecture, honouring the late scholar-curator, at the Guggenheim on Wednesday night. The speakers were Jeffrey Deitch, director of Deitch Projects until he takes office as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) in May, and Norman Rosenthal, the British curator.

In a thought-provoking discussion, Deitch dropped a tantalising glimpse of the shape of things to come at the soon-to-be rejuvenated Los Angeles art museum, when Rosenthal suggested that the Ofili show (until 16 May) would be ideal for MOCA. “It’s under discussion,” Deitch responded.

Deitch stressed that art museums needed to reaffirm their leadership. There is a “hunger for more historically-aware judgement”, and there needed to be a “correction” after a decade in which museums were “outshone” by the market place. Deitch also revealed that he believed in an “old fashioned approach” in which the director “shapes the programme”.