Ed Rucha, a prominent LA artist, has joined the board of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. This could be a small but significant erosion of the credibility of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and with it, the LA art scene.
Ruscha, who came to fame in the sixties as a kind of Pop Artist, has long seemed essentially a Los Angeles artist. His work, with it’s gas stations and parking lots, views of Sunset Boulevard and a painting of the Los Angeles County Museum on fire, could not have been created elsewhere with the same overlapping of meanings and markers.
Sitting on the board of directors of MOCA, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, was a fitting thing to do. As an artist, he was openly accepting of the appointment of Jeffery Deitch, a gallerist, to direct the Museum as it was collapsing from a serious lack of funding. "I was behind him and I didn't think for one minute that it might be a bad choice," Ruscha told the LA Times.
But when Deitch fired Paul Schimmel, the long-standing and highly respected chief curator of MOCA, then Mr. Ruscha felt it was necessary to step down from the board, as did John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie, the other three LA artists who sat on the MOCA board.