MOCA gets in bed with dealer and James Franco *

* Green has posted a clarification from MOCA, plus there's one from me; see below

Arts critic and blogger Tyler Green is perturbed by MOCA's latest untraditional arrangement — "it’s extremely unusual — and perhaps unprecedented — for a museum to put an exhibition in a space owned by a dealer or to accept funds from a dealer to place an exhibition in a space he owns," Green posts today.

The Museum of Contemporary Art has announced that it will present an exhibition at the Hollywood space of furniture dealer Joel Chen. MOCA said that Chen was a donor to the exhibition and that his donation included both sponsorship funds and made an in-kind donation. In a press release, MOCA described Chen’s business, J.F. Chen, as “a newly emerging contemporary art and design space.” Other donors to the exhibition include Gucci, Seven For All Mankind and Samsung...

The exhibition, “Rebel” will be on view from May 15 to June 23. A museum spokesperson said that the show did not have a traditional curator, but that it was put together by actor James Franco in conjunction with artists Douglas Gordon, Harmony Korine, Damon McCarthy, Paul McCarthy, Terry Richardson, Ed Ruscha and Aaron Young.


MOCA has recently come under fire for its unusual associations with commercial figures.

The museum says Chen is involved as host and collaborator, but won't sell any of the objects in the exhibition.

* Updates: Green edits his post and adds tonight, "MOCA says Chen is not a financial contributor to the exhibition, but that he 'is an in-kind donor and is contributing his space at a reduced rate.' [The affected sentence has a strike-through in the quote above.]

MOCA's Lyn Winter tells LA Observed: "JF Chen is an in-kind donor to the exhibition. We were very impressed by the Eames Collection exhibition which was presented by them as part of Pacific Standard Time, and they have made their space, which is one of the most interesting spaces for art in LA, available for the Rebel exhibition, at a reduced rate."

Also: Chen deals in furniture and other objects, not art of the kind that hangs on walls.

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