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August 23, 2013 | By Steve Chawkins
William Kieschnick, a chemical engineer who in the 1980s led the Atlantic Richfield oil company and used his executive skills to help stabilize the fledgling Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, has died. He was 90. Kieschnick had Parkinson's disease and recently suffered a stroke, family members said. He died Wednesday in Napa, his home since 1990. Soft-spoken and understated, Kieschnick guided Los Angeles-based Arco through a period of dramatic cutbacks. During his tenure as president and chief executive from 1981 to 1985, he laid off 13% of the workforce, reduced spending on exploration, closed 2,000 gas stations, borrowed billions to buy back outstanding shares and ward off corporate predators, and sold the metals and mining operations championed by his flamboyant predecessor, Robert O. Anderson.
August 7, 2013 | By Suzanne Muchnic
Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa was interned during World War II, first at the Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, where she lived in a horse stall that reeked of manure, and then at a relocation center in Arkansas, where 8,000 detainees were surrounded by barbed wire fences and watch towers. It was a defining experience, but not a devastating one. Decades later, when Asawa had achieved fame in the art world and admiration in San Francisco as an educator and arts advocate, she told an interviewer that she felt no hostility about the painful period in her youth and blamed no one for her hardship.
August 2, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
Art rule No. 1: There are no rules. Or maybe there are -- tons of rules -- but they are just chaotic, freewheeling and ever-changing. The London-based Institute of Contemporary Arts will launch a Twitter-like social media platform on Aug. 21 dedicated entirely to art, the Guardian reported. The site, called Art Rules, aims to draw a younger, more digitally-focused audience and spark their interest in art. PHOTOS: Arts and culture by The Times It also hopes to start a global, online conversation about the nature of art -- from esoteric questions about what is and isn't art to more practical artist survival tips.
July 27, 2013 | By Steve Appleford
In a corner office at the Museum of Contemporary Art, a big white board is a tangle of names, dates and ideas scrawled in brightly colored markers. At the center is a chart for the video network MOCAtv, plotting new programs on the artist Urs Fischer and leading architects, on the raw symbolism of punk rock and on something called "CRIME: The Animated Series. " It represents an ambitious range of art-based programming, only some of it directly tied to a MOCA exhibition. "The contemporary art world has so many tangents that we are still reaching out to," says John Toba, MOCAtv's head of production, looking up at the board.
July 25, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Jeffrey Deitch's embattled stewardship of the Museum of Contemporary Art has ended with his resignation as director three years into his five-year contract. That's probably a good thing for the museum, which was under serious financial strain for most of his tenure even as it engaged in a bitter battle over the artistic direction in which it was moving. Deitch was a risky hire from the start, an innovative but untested New York gallery owner tapped for a job that traditionally goes to someone with a scholarly, curatorial background and administrative experience.
July 24, 2013 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
Jeffrey Deitch has made it official: He'll be stepping down after a stormy three years as director of L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art. The MOCA board said it had launched a search for his successor. Deitch told the board of his decision to leave at its meeting Wednesday, according to a MOCA statement. "He will stay on to ensure a smooth transition and the successful completion" of a campaign begun in March to boost MOCA's endowment to $100 million, the statement said. The statement said the campaign is "expected to close this fall.
July 17, 2013 | By David Ng
"Museum Hours," the latest feature by Jem Cohen, has already impressed critics on the film festival circuit and in New York, and is now set to come to Los Angeles. The ultra-indie movie about a  friendship between a tourist and a guard at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is scheduled open Aug. 16. The official website for "Museum Hours" says the movie will open at the Laemmle Royal, which is in West L.A., but the theater's site doesn't list the title. In the movie, a foreign visitor (Mary Margaret O'Hara)
July 11, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Right now the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the city's Museum of Contemporary Art are holding a pair of highly unusual solo exhibitions. At LACMA, a survey of sculptural environments made since the 1960s by James Turrell to explore human perception has resulted in a show that is on view for more than 10 months - two or three times longer than the typical museum retrospective. Meanwhile, a mid-career survey of sculpture by Urs Fischer occupies about half of MOCA's Grand Avenue exhibition space, plus most of the museum's Geffen warehouse in Little Tokyo - the first time both buildings have been turned over to a living artist since the museum opened a quarter-century ago. Though the duration and size of these two shows might be extremely unusual, another aspect of them is disappointingly routine: Both artists are men. LACMA and MOCA have recently been giving short shrift to solo exhibitions of art made by women.
June 29, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
The new architecture exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art - and we'll get to its ever-changing title in a moment - is the product of a museum in significant disarray. That much has been clear for several weeks, as MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch nearly canceled the show, pushed out its curator and rushed to raise some 11th-hour funds to get the whole thing ready by June 16, two months later than originally planned. FOR THE RECORD: "A New Sculpturalism": A review in the June 30 Arts & Books section of the exhibition "A New Sculpturalism" at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary space said several architects have a bigger presence in the final version of the show than they did in a version planned earlier.
June 6, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
“Mishima in Mexico” (2012), the standout in the debut L.A. solo exhibition of recent work by Wu Tsang, is a cross-cultural, cross-dressing, operatic telenovela imbued with the stylized elegance of Kabuki theater. The video, which was included in the Museum of Contemporary Art's fall exhibition “Blues for Smoke,” is a 14-minute effort to create art and identity within today's swirling sociocultural hall of mirrors. It succeeds by understanding and conveying two things. First, art and identity are both questions, not answers.
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