LA's MOCA Fires Chief Curator Helen Molesworth

Helen Molesworth
Helen Molesworth
(MOCA)

The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA) has ousted its chief curator, Helen Molesworth, first reported the LA Times.

An email sent Monday to MOCA trustees from Director Philippe Vergne, and obtained by the Times, implied that Molesworth resigned. But from an email with artist Catherine Opie, the Times reports that Opie says Molesworth was fired for "undermining the museum."

Molesworth came from the ICA Boston to Los Angeles in 2014. She is recently noted for her well-reviewed retrospective on Kerry James Marshall in 2017.

Last month MOCA suffered an embarrassment after artist board member Mark Grotjahn refused an honor for the 2018 MOCA Gala over the institution's "lack of diversity" in past recipients of the honor. The gala was shelved and donor funds returned, according to reports. Christopher Knight writes: "The dust-up reflected a similar distinction between Vergne's high-profile exhibitions for two white male artists and Molesworth's for an African American male artist and a Latin American female artist."

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