Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times reports that Helen Molesworth, the chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, has been fired from her position by Philippe Vergne, the museum’s director. However, an email distributed to the museum’s trustees says that Molesworth “resigned.”
“No. He fired her,” said artist Catherine Opie by phone to the Los Angeles Times. Opie, who is a member of LA MoCA’s board, said that she contacted Vergne after she received the email and he told her that Molesworth was terminated for allegedly “undermining the museum.” Details about Molesworth’s departure are not yet clear.
Molesworth came to the museum in 2014 after leaving her post as the Barbara Lee chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. She was responsible for several critically acclaimed shows at LA MoCA, including “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry,” which came to the museum last spring, and “Anna Maria Maiolino,” a retrospective of the Brazilian artist, which was part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative last year. Molesworth has organized solo exhibitions of work by artists such as Amy Sillman, Steve Locke, Josiah McElheny, and Catherine Opie. She is the author of numerous books and essays, and is a frequent contributor to Artforum. Her most recent piece is a feature on the art of Simone Leigh for the March issue.
LA MoCA has not yet responded to requests for comment.