Let Curators Be Curators, MOCA’s New Chief Says

January 18, 2014 3:38 AM

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Let Curators Be Curators, MOCA’s New Chief Says

The New York office of Philippe Vergne, the Dia Art Foundation director, who was named on Wednesday to lead the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, looks out onto a brick vista of Chelsea art galleries. But hanging on the wall next to the windows is a photograph of Walter De Maria’s New Mexico land-art work “The Lightning Field,” showing a vast sweep of Western plateau.

As Mr. Vergne heads to California — the second New York-based director in a row chosen by the Los Angeles museum — he will in one sense be taking over an institution whose possibilities are just as wide-open. Barely more than 30 years old, beloved and fiercely defended by local artists and in posses...

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