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Critics on MOCA's Deitch Pick: Brilliant, Complicated

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Two of the countries' leading art critics, the LA Times' Christopher Knight, and the NY Times' Roberta Smith weigh in today on the Museum of Contemporary Art's decision to hand over the reins and appoint art collector Jeffrey Deitch as its new director. More cautious than Smith, Knight writes that the "appointment of a businessman to run a nonprofit in fact feels reactionary — a profoundly conservative response to the fiscal mismanagement of the museum’s prior administration, which nearly toppled MOCA in 2008." And given Deitch's relationship with David Geffen, Knight wonders if "the appointment is partly an effort to reel Geffen back into the MOCA fold, after several decades’ absence." Meanwhile, over at the New York Times, Smith is pretty rah-rah about the decision, writing the appointment "is a brilliant stroke for the Museum of Contemporary Art and may be a harbinger of renewed institutional spirit and will" and notes that Deitch’s selection, as well as other recent appointments, represent a positive "reversal of the tide of academically trained directors in favor of the autodidacts." Deitch via LA Times
· Critic's Notebook: MOCA's complicated choice of a new director [LA Times]
· A New Boss, and a Jolt of Real-World Expertise [NYTimes]