The Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Los Angeles isn’t in a party mood this year, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. An email has gone out saying the museum won't hold its usual November gala, when stars such as Lady Gaga perform and the museum takes in its biggest wave of funds. The 2011 gala, for example, was directed by performance artist Marina Abramovic, featured live nude models rotating on tables, and raised $2.5 million, Bloomberg says.
"This year’s MOCA gala is scheduled for the spring,” according to the e-mail from the museum. “Date to be announced shortly.”
MOCA, which has a collection of almost 6,000 art works, has seen at least seven board members quit this year, including artists Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari. Some current and former directors have challenged the influence of billionaire Eli Broad, who stepped in to save the museum with a $30 million pledge in 2008.
Resigning trustees have been critical of the museum under Jeffrey Deitch, a former New York gallery owner now serving as director, and were supporters of Paul Schimmel, the longtime chief curator who resigned on June 29. After initially saying Deitch would act as curator, the executive committee of MOCA’s board said last month that it would hire a new curator.
Broad, a MOCA co-founder, had been holding back some of his pledged contributions. He agreed last month to become current on those payments, Karen Denne, a spokeswoman said.
Lady Gaga performs at MOCA gala in 2009. LA Observed photo by Iris Schneider