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Critic Christopher Knight Gives Jeffrey Deitch’s First LA MOCA Show Low Marks


So now that he’s an official West Coaster, this past Sunday saw the opening of Jeffrey Deitch‘s first, very high-profile show as the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art‘s new director. So how did he fare with “Dennis Hopper Double Standard,” an exhibition of the now-passed actor/director/artist? According to critic Christopher Knight, not so hot. While Knight doesn’t pick apart any particular thing that Deitch has had his hand in (other than “It’s cute to watch all the Easterners go gaga over Hollywood”), he’s quick to pick the show itself apart piece by piece, starting by saying that Hopper “just isn’t a very interesting artist.” From there he tours the show, describing the actor’s various moves into different artistic methods, from his better-known work with photography to his dabbling with graffiti in the mid-80s, which Knight seems to find particularly “amateurish” and (in his best line) “soggy hot-house Pop, divorced from time and space, like the immediate social landscape glimpsed from Saturn through the wrong end of a telescope.” So maybe not the strongest opening for Deitch, but given how much we’ve heard about the show (and to be morbid, the proximity of its opening to the actor’s death), we’re guessing the museum is pleased with its visitor count enough to not let the local critic bother it too too much.

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