The Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), have announced/artist trustees John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie are returning to the fold. The move comes just a week after Philippe Vergne began work as MOCA’s new director, replacing Jeffrey Deitch, who departed in July 2013. The artists resigned from the museum’s board in July 2012 over the direction the institution was taking under Deitch’s helm.
New artist trustee Mark Grotjahn will also join the MOCA board. Returning trustees Kathi Cypres and Steven F. Rothand former interim director Maria Seferian were also elected. These significant returns and additions to the museum’s Board reinforce the overwhelming support from the artist and philanthropic communities for MOCA’s independent future as the only public museum in Los Angeles dedicated solely to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art.
The elections follow the recent appointment of director Philippe Vergne, the result of successful efforts of the museum’s international search committee, members of which included all three returning artist trustees Baldessari, Kruger, and Opie, and the unprecedented success of the endowment campaign. With generous commitments from MOCA Board members and leading contemporary art patrons from around the world the board raised the museum’s endowment to an historic high of more than $100 million, securing the museum’s independence and financial stability.
“We are thrilled that John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Cathy Opie are returning and very excited that Mark Grotjahn has accepted to join our board. For us this is a big show of confidence from the artist community. This institution was shaped by the artists’ vision and we want to preserve that,” said MOCA Board Co-Chair Maurice Marciano. “We also welcome returning trustees Kathi Cypres and Steven Roth and our outstanding former interim director Maria Seferian.”
“I’m very excited about the prospects for MOCA with Philippe leading us and I want to be supportive,” said John Baldessari.
“We are ecstatic to have this fantastic group of artists joining us as well as returning and new trustees,” said MOCA Board Co-Chair Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, “MOCA is here to stay!”
“MOCA has changed the way I think about art and life and is one of the reasons I chose to live in Los Angeles. I’m honored to join the board,” said Mark Grotjahn.
“It is truly my honor to be invited and return to MOCA as a board member. I look forward to working with all the members of the board as we look forward to a new future with Philippe Vergne as the new director of the museum,” said Catherine Opie. “MOCA has always been considered the artist’s museum in Los Angeles and it is a very exciting and pivotal time for MOCA to continue that legacy as the art world continues to expand.”
“With our new director Philippe Vergne leading MOCA, the addition of these important artists to our board, makes a big statement about MOCA’s future as one of the most innovative and experimental museums today. The return of the artists, Kathi Cypres and Steven Roth and the new appointments of artist Mark Grotjahn and Maria Seferian to our board, reflect our recent success in securing the museum’s financial stability, independence and new leadership,” said MOCA Board President, Fred Sands.
“For me it is extremely important to have artists represented on the board. MOCA was founded by artists, patrons and civic leaders as the artist’s museum, and its incredible collection and record of groundbreaking exhibitions pay testament to that,” said MOCA Director Philippe Vergne. “It is a privilege to join MOCA with our new and returning trustees at the moment when MOCA is stronger than ever before.”
“I am honored to be asked and am delighted to rejoin the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art. I have great hopes for the future of MOCA,” said Steven F. Roth.
MOCA celebrates its 35th anniversary under the new leadership of Board Co-ChairsMaurice Marciano and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz in a financially stronger position that ever before, with a Board of committed artists and philanthropists, one of the most important and growing collections of contemporary art in the world, and an international record of ground-breaking exhibitions and scholarship.