LOS ANGELES — In yet one more spherical of upheaval on the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Klaus Biesenbach, the museum’s creative director and former director, is leaving for Berlin to run the Neue Nationalgalerie and the longer term Museum of the 20th Century, the Berlin museum introduced Friday morning.
The departure of Biesenbach got here every week after MOCA, as it’s recognized, named Johanna Burton to the newly created place of govt director, and mentioned that she would share administration duties of the museum with Biesenbach. He had been employed because the director of the museum in 2018, however was moved to the place of creative director earlier this yr because the museum grappled with criticism over its lack of range and struggled with cuts pressured by declining revenues in the midst of the pandemic.
His abrupt departure is the newest complication for MOCA because it seeks to regain its footings after a string of mishaps through the years that has prevented it from solidifying a spot as considered one of this metropolis’s premier museums. It got here after a rigorously orchestrated announcement that divided the museum’s management duties between two individuals, with Burton overseeing administration — which museum officers had seen as Biesenbach’s weak point — and leaving creative growth to Biesenbach.
In asserting Burton’s appointment, museum officers mentioned they have been assured that this uncommon division of duties would work. “I think this is the right model for us right now,” Maria Seferian, the chairwoman of MOCA, mentioned on the time of the Burton announcement. “Maybe it wouldn’t have worked 20 years ago and it won’t work 20 years from now, but it’s the right moment for us now.”
Presumably, had the museum recognized of Biesenbach’s imminent departure, it may need appeared to search out an govt director who was capable of deal with each components of the job. It was unclear Friday morning whether or not — or how — the museum would fill this place.
The day earlier than the announcement of Biesenbach’s departure, he was available to herald the opening of a brand new exhibit by Pipilotti Rist, a Swiss video artist, on the Geffen Contemporary, MOCA’s warehouse house in downtown Los Angeles. It was a signature exhibition that had been in the works for practically three years.
Biesenbach, 55, was born in Germany. He got here to Los Angeles after serving because the director of MoMA PS1. He was appointed curator on the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2006. And, on the age of 25, he was one of many founders of the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, which is the place he started his profession in museums.