Philippe Verne tapped as Director of LA MOCA

Philippe Vergne with artist Aidan Salakhova in her studio, April 2011.

Philippe Vergne with artist Aidan Salakhova in her studio, April 2011.

So, right as we were going to complain about it being a slow few weeks…

Yesterday, art writers Jori Finkel and Randy Kennedy dropped a bomb when they announced that Philippe Vergne – currently director of the Dia Art Foundation – will be replacing Jeffrey Deitch at the helm of the down-but-not-out LA MoCA.

Can we just say: Wow. We did not see that one coming.

We had the pleasure of helping Christie’s bring Philippe Vergne to Moscow in April 2011, where we made the studio rounds with him, visiting artists like the charming Aidan Salakhova (who gave us a sneak peek of the works which would subsequently be  censored from the Azerbaijan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, just a few months later.

We have mentioned the LA MOCA situation a few times here on this blog, but for the most part have tried to refrain from commenting, as every story has multiple sides, etc, etc. However, we will confess, we did breath a sigh of relief when Deitch stepped down from the post – if anything, so that both the museum and the curator could find themselves in a more productive environment, with Jeffrey doing what he does best, and MOCA remembering what it is it does. Last week, New York Magazine‘s Carl Swanson (the same writer who gave us that Koons piece) ran a rather extensive, if a bit evasive, profile of Deitch, which we recommend you check out here.

Vergne will be in good company. Michael Govan, the wunderkind behind LACMA’s recent flourishing, also previously served as the director of the Dia. Something in the air at Beacon?

Again, wow! This is so much more exciting than the translation of Mikhail Piotrovsky‘s Hermitage pep talk that we were going to run today…

You can find Finkel and Kennedy’s piece here.

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