The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles announced in a press release on Wednesday that it will close its exhibition space at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood on February 24, following the run of its current Kahlil Joseph solo show there.
While it is unclear whether this was a joint decision made by MOCA and the center, or whether one institution made the call to close the space, the move to do so is likely part of the museum’s new director Klaus Biesenbach’s vision for the museum. Bisenbach started at the museum in mid-October of last year, after almost two decades of working in New York at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1.
At the time, he told ARTnews that arts patron and collector Agnes Gund had advised him “to grow slowly and listen to everybody first. That’s what I’m doing right now. I want to spend the first half-year just learning and listening. That prevents you from doing things too fast or coming to conclusions that are not fully informed.”
The PDC branch of MOCA presented design and architecture shows as well as contemporary art exhibitions. Its design and architecture programming will be incorporated into its remaining two spaces, the flagship Grand Avenue location in downtown and the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo.
Among the shows it staged at the center were a Rick Owens furniture show; solo exhibitions devoted to work by Barbara Kasten, Catherine Opie, and Magdalena Fernández; and queer art exhibitions that related to the PDC’s location in one of the city’s gay enclaves, including “Tongues Untied,” which surveyed art made during the AIDS crisis, and “Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.,” which it co-presented with the nearby ONE Archives gallery. “Axis Mundo,” which was part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA and is currently traveling, examined the various connections, collaborations, and correspondences between queer and/or Chicanx artists in Los Angeles and beyond.
“We are proud of MOCA’s record of achievement at the PDC,” MOCA chair Maria Seferian said in a statement.