It looks as if MOCA’s new director, Philippe Vergne, will be hosting a party this spring, and it’s a big one – the museum’s 35th anniversary gala.
MOCA announced on Monday that the event, sponsored by Louis Vuitton and priced at $2,500 to $10,000 for individuals, will be March 29 at the Geffen Contemporary. Guests will get a preview of the much-anticipated exhibition “Mike Kelley,” spanning works from the '70s to the present and the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s work since 1993, which opens March 31.
Last year’s MOCA gala, held in April, was timed to the opening of the museum’s Urs Fisher show – it took the place of a 2012 gala as the event, held in the fall in the previous few years, was pushed forward to spring 2013. The 2011 gala celebrated the work of performance artist Marina Abramovic; the 2010 event focused on multimedia artist Doug Aitken.
At the last gala, rumors swirled that the museum’s then-director, Jeffrey Deitch, might be departing, perhaps dampening the party mood.
This year's gala not only marks the recent appointment of Vergne as director, but also new board co-chairs Maurice Marciano and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz – who are also serving as gala co-chairs with MOCA founding chairman and life trustee, Eli Broad. The museum is also toasting having reached its endowment goal of $100 million, with a new goal set at $150 million.
"This is the beginning of a new era at MOCA,” said Marciano in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating our extraordinary accomplishments at the MOCA gala with our friends of the museum from around the world, and especially with our new director, Philippe Vergne.”