« Previous | Culture Monster Home | Next »

How is Jeffrey Deitch bringing 'Dennis Hopper Double Standard' to a museum near you so quickly?

May 18, 2010 | 11:45 am


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."

--Jori Finkel

You can follow the writer on Twitter: @jorifinkel


Jeffrey Deitch's first show at MOCA: Dennis Hopper, curated by Julian Schnabel

MOCA logo goes back to the future

Image: Dennis Hopper's "Double Standard," 1961, gelatin silver print, © Dennis Hopper. Courtesy of the artist and Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York.

Comments () | Archives (10)

this show is such a joke. As if Dennis Hopper was a great visual artist deserving of a retrospective at MOCA.

How about a Richard Jackson retrospective curated by Ed Ruscha? Or a Ree Morton one by, oh the horror, a real curator? MOCA has a few ones on staff.

The Dennis Hopper Show at Doug Christmas's Ace Gallery in 2006 has set a high bar for MOCA to meet. Not only was the show far reaching and comprehensive with everything from massive canvases to archival photographs but it was also covered by International Press and hosted an opening night that rivaled the Cannes Film Festival combined with Art Basel.

Capital Capitol, meet maandrews.
maandrews, meet Capital Capitol

at the sound of the bell...

I agree with capital capitol. This is a joke. I've seen all the images on the web, and this guy, although a good actor, IS NOT AN ARTIST deserving of a MOCA retrospective. enough said.

Nice article except for this: "one could add." Ugh. Horrible phrase. Delete it and just say what you mean, Jori!

double standard may be more than just an exhibition title. just take a look at the four exhibitions that deitch already has on the moca exhibition schedule. Four (and two of them are street art exhibitions - big surprise)!! Not bad for a guy who doesn't officially start until june 1st.

I will want to have a look at Hoppers exhibit, whether he be alive or not, so much the better if he lives, maybe I will get a chance to meet him too? He is such an enimagtic figure, I thimk it would be interesting to see the world through his eye, even the photo above strikes me. Is this SFV Road and Lankershim of my youth?
What a flash back huh Dennis? Even if isnt, it doesnt matter, it raised my eye brow none the less, as a vietvet, Mr Hopper remains my kindred soul having given voice to my generation.

The guy is famous and times are tough. He'll sell tickets and bring in sponsorship money. Getting it done while he's still alive make tremendous amounts economic of sense for MOCA (which has been a financial black hole).

I had a show of my photography in 2003 at a Santa Monica gallery and was told by the owner that Dennis Hopper came by two days in a row considering one of my photographs for his collection. He didn't end up buying but told the owner to tell me how tough a decision it was for him. I thought it was cool at the time- really had no idea he was considered a collector.

We are a celebrity driven society- especially here in LA. I don't like it either and it is tough to take seeing celebrities get museum shows, art books, publish children's books...

The answer is because we love Dennis.


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.