Charley Gallay/Getty Images for LACMA
Artist and honoree John Baldessari attends LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Clint Eastwood and John Baldessari Presented By Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
"To live with my conscience, I just had to do it." Baldessari said in an interview with the Times on Thursday after emailing his decision to MOCA. He said his reasons include the recent ouster of respected chief curator Paul Schimmel and news this week that the pop-cultural slant the museum has taken under director Jeffrey Deitch will continue with an exhibition on disco music's influence on art and culture.
The museum says Schimmel resigned, but did not make him available for comment.
Baldessari is the fifth board member, and the most high-profile one, to leave MOCA since February. He’s taught at Cal Arts for decades and has served on MOCA’s board for 12 years.
MOCA observers say there’s a growing dissatisfaction with the direction in which director Jeffrey Deitch is taking the museum. Deitch, a former New York art dealer and private gallery owner, has pushed for exhibits with a celebrity quotient, and shows organized by independent curators.