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MOCA Director Steps Down

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The five year contract that Jeffery Deitch held with the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art ended after just three years.


The road was rocky from the beginning for the the New York art dealer turned museum director. Indeed this appointment was experimental, though he was known to run his New York gallery more like a private museum than a showroom. Deitch's legacy remains unclear. Though he took the post in a period where the museum was very close to collapse and even possible absorption by the Los Angeles county Museum of Art and steered it back to a stabilizing point much of the staff, including longtime chief curator Paul Schimmel departed, as did many artists on the museum's board. Programming goals and vision shifted under Deitch and this met with criticism by some and praise by others- the departees on one side, and other board members, including Chairs Maria Arena Bell and David G. Johnson on the other. Alliances seem to have done much to fraction the Museum and put Deitch on the defensive. Many charged that his moves to integrate the arts lead to programming that was obsessed with pop-culture and overlooked more traditional ways of engaging with art.

It may be too soon to step away from the unfolding drama that has plagued MOCA and see the big picture clearly, but the root of this problem seems in some ways to be how to overcome a growing indifference in patrons. How do cultural institutions survive in a climate where the party around the art is more exciting to attendees than the art itself? The real take-away question is this- how do cultural institutions survive, thrive, and cultivate new interest as they educate and refine the taste of those who come through their doors. 

More on this story in these publications:

Bloomberg News

New York Times

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Spain Considers Sliming VAT Tax

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spain's Cultural Minister is open to reviewing the high rates


Jose Ignacio Wert, Spain's Minister of Education, Culture, and Sport together with Cristóbal Montoro, Finance Minister, reported last week that they are open to reviewing the country's culture tax, VAT. Currently the highest on the continent, Spain's 21% VAT is credited with driving cultural consumers away from Spanish galleries and causing patrons to forego museum visits. The rate jumped significantly in September of 2012 from 8% - 21% and now discussion is centering around a new figure of 13% for the tax. Discussion of reduction followed a proposal from José Antonio Monago, Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura, to reduce exchange of cultural goods and services which include sale and import of artworks, entrance fees to private museums, and tickets to cinema and theater.

Optimism has been meeting with reality. Though Mongao called in May for a reduction of the VAT that would put Spain more on par with the rest of Europe, most have a rate of less than 10%, the lag time continues to impact Spanish Galleries. Gallery owner and President of a collection of Spanish galleries, Alberto de Juan, too has been meeting with pertinent ministries to push for change. De Juan has endeavored to show that the Spanish Government too will loose if Spanish galleries can not compete with the international market. While de Juan has "full faith that the government will reduce VAT" he reminds us the "problem is when" (Rojas, The Art Newspaper).

Full story in the The Art Newspaper

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Winners Announced: Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin win the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 17, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Adam Broomberg (b.1970, South Africa) & Oliver Chanarin (b.1971, UK) have been awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013. The artists are the first artist duo to ever win the Prize.

The anual award is given to a photographer of any nationality for their significant contribution to the medium of photography either through an exhibition or publication, in Europe between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2012. Broomberg & Chanarin won for their publication War Primer 2 (2012, MACK). The limited edition book physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht's publication War Primer (1955). In the original, Brecht matched WWII newspaper clippings with short poems that sought to demystify press images, which he referred to as hieroglyphics. In War Primer 2 Broomberg & Chanarin choose to focus on the 'War on Terror'; sifting through the internet for low resolution screen-grabs and mobile phone images, the artists then combined them to resonate with Brecht's poems. Through this layering of photographic history, Broomberg & Chanarin offer a critique of photographs of contemporary conflict and their dissemination—a theme that has been at the centre of their practice for fifteen years.

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin were chosen by jury members: Joan Fontcuberta, artist; Andrea Holzherr, Exhibition Manager, Magnum; Karol Hordziej, Artistic Director, Krakow Photomonth; and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany.

The other shortlisted artists for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013, each awarded £3,000, are: Mishka Henner (b. 1976, UK) for his exhibition No Man's Land at Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy (20 September - 28 October 2012); Chris Killip (b. 1946, UK) for his exhibition What Happened - Great Britain 1970 - 1990 at Le Bal, Paris (11 May - 19 August 2012); and Cristina De Middel (b. 1975, Spain) for her publication The Afronauts (2011, self-published).

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 is organised by The Photographers' Gallery and is on display until 30 June 2013. It will be followed by a presentation at the Deutsche Börse headquarters in Frankfurt/Eschborn from 12 September - 31 October 2013.

For more information please visit The Photographer's Gallery

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Howard Greenberg's Selection

Posted By Administration, Sunday, June 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reported by La Journal de la Photographie


Howard Greenberg is judge for la Journal de la Photographie's weekend portfolios this June. 

Howard Greenberg is one of the world's foremost photography dealers. He is an authority on 19th and 20th century photography, and has been an acknowledged leader of establishing its value on the fine art market. 
Museums, galleries, educational institutions, and industry associations frequently seek Greenberg's expertise. He has curated many critically acclaimed exhibitions, including Edward Steichen: 1915-1923 (2009); Bruce Davidson: East 100th St., The 1970 MoMA Show (2009); Minor White: Eye Mind Spirit (2008), Czech Vision (2007), and Appeal to This Age (1995), a pictorial overview of the civil rights movement.

Full story

Continued story and submission link

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Photographer Wayne F. Miller Dies at 94

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Photographer Wayne F. Miller, who helped revolutionize documentary photography and lead the movement to renew California's forests, died on May 22, 2013 at age 94. Mr. Miller, born in Chicago, Illinois in 1918, began his career over the Pacific, shooting photographs of the Pacific combat theater during World War II, having been hand selected by Capt. Edward Steichen for his elite naval combat photographic unit that documented the war effort.

Full story in Le Journal de la Photographie

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