How is Jeffrey Deitch bringing 'Dennis Hopper Double Standard' to a museum near you so quickly?
The exhibition "Dennis Hopper Double Standard," opening July 11 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, is a rush job for several reasons, not the least of which is the actor/artist's deteriorating health.
But how do you put together a major museum show in five months, while others can take as long as five years to organize?
I asked incoming MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who officially starts his job June 1, that question last month. "An exhibition of Dennis' work in Australia is now ending, so the works are being shipped back here and we will use a number of those," he said. (That show, "Dennis Hopper and the New Hollywood" at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, ended April 25. It was originally curated by the Cinémathèque Française.)
"We are also getting some assemblages from Dennis' own collection--he retained a lot of his early work," Deitch said.
It helps, Deitch noted, that many of Hopper's works--including his famous 1961 "Double Standard" image (pictured)--are photographs done in editions, so there are multiple examples in existence.
It also helps, one could add, that Hopper was never an art-market darling whose work was snapped up by all the big collectors and museums. MOCA, for instance, does not have a single example of his work in its permanent collection.
Deitch has lined up Fred Hoffman, who gave Hopper a Santa Monica gallery show in 1997, to help organize the MOCA show here on the ground. While Julian Schnabel is listed as curator, Hoffman is credited as the "curatorial consultant" on the museum's press release. (Note that the MOCA team does not include dealer Doug Chrismas of Ace Gallery, who gave Hopper his last big show here in 2006.)
The MOCA release, just out, adds some key information for anyone tracking the money behind museum activity: "'Dennis Hopper Double Standard' is presented by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation."
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Image: Dennis Hopper's "Double Standard," 1961, gelatin silver print, © Dennis Hopper. Courtesy of the artist and Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York.