L.A. MOCA Gags Gala

The Los Angeles museum of Contemporary Art -- the downtown institution, mired by multiple departures of board members -- will not hold a gala in 2012.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social network have been observing the tumultuous and dysfunctional activities of a Board at war.

Past gala events have included performances by Lady Gaga, Beck and Deborah Harry.

The annual soiree, usually held in November, has been the museum’s largest fundraiser, until now.

The 2011 gala, which raised $2.5 million, was directed by performance artist Marina Abramovic and featured live nude models rotating on tables, while guests including Pamela Anderson, Kirsten Dunst and Will Ferrell dined in white lab coats.

“This year’s MOCA gala is scheduled for the spring,” according to the e-mail from the museum. “Date to be announced shortly.” The museum’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.

MOCA, which has a collection of almost 6,000 art works, has seen at least seven board members quit this year, including artists Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari.

Some current and former directors have challenged the influence of billionaire Eli Broad, who stepped in to save the museum with a $30 million pledge in 2008.

Resigning trustees have been critical of the museum under Jeffrey Deitch, pictured above, who is a former New York gallery owner and is now serving as director. The trustees were big supporters of Paul Schimmel, the longtime chief curator who resigned on June 29, 2012.

After initially saying Deitch would act as curator, the executive committee of MOCA’s board said last month that it would hire a new curator.

Broad, a MOCA co-founder, had been holding back some of his pledged contributions. As reported on last month's homepage (see AK Files 10 August 2012) agreed last month to become current on those payments, Karen Denne, a museum spokeswoman said.

{Be sure to watch today's homepage Featured Video for a hilarious parody of the situation.}