Eli Broad, You Complete Me

Jeffrey Deitch tells the Los Angeles Downtown News, “The Broad Foundation’s collection fits in very, very well, and does not really compete with MOCA’s collection. It’s complementary.” It's no secret that Deitch is dying to have the Broad Collection land catecorner from MOCA Grand Avenue. It's nevertheless hard to see how MOCA's wide-ranging collection of international avant-garde art, from c. 1939 to the present, doesn't "compete" with Broad's collection of international avant-garde art from c. 1954 onward.
Deitch's talking point in the Downtown News is that MOCA's is a historic contemporary collection, "more heavily weighted in earlier works" while Broad's is a real contemporary collection "anchored by newer contemporary works, from the 1960s onward." Say what?
The Rothkos aside, MOCA has a history of acquiring emerging artists before the market recognizes them. Broad's business plan is almost the opposite, favoring marketable blue-chips with upside potential. Case in point: John Currin's Old Couple (pictured). Currin painted it in 1993, seven years out of Yale art school and a few years before he became an art market phenom. In November 2009 Sothebys auctioned Old Couple for an impressive $842,500. The winning bidder was dealer Larry Gagosian. Old Couple has recently been acquired by the Broad Foundation, to be displayed on Grand Avenue — or wherever the museum ends up.


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