Written by Ritenis Aksel


LOS ANGELES—The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has appointed José Luis Blondet as Senior Curator. A seasoned museum professional, Blondet joins MOCA from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where he has served as Curator of Special Initiatives since 2015. He begins his role at MOCA on May 1, 2023 where he will work on exhibitions, acquisitions and collection development, and new initiatives.

 “I am delighted to welcome José Luis to MOCA. He has long engaged in innovative exhibition practices and supported new art forms that push the boundaries of what contemporary art museums are doing. I am excited about the fresh perspective he brings, as well as his deep networks in Los Angeles and in Latin America,” said Clara Kim, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs. At LACMA since 2010, Blondet has been behind many notable exhibitions there including Not I. Throwing Voices 1500 BCE – 2020 CE (2021), a sprawling transhistorical exhibition that brought together the museum’s encyclopedic collection under the lens of ventriloquism; A Universal History of Infamy, co-curated with Rita Gonzalez and Pilar Tompkins Rivas, for the Getty’s PST initiative (2017-18); and Various Small Fires (Working Documents) (2016), where artworks were paired with documents from the museum’s archive. More recently, Blondet co-organized with Rita Gonzalez the LACMA iteration of Afro-Atlantic Histories (2023), a touring exhibition that originated at Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil. During his tenure at LACMA, he also commissioned a range of innovative works with artists such as Raven Chacon, Patricia Fernandez, and Jade Guanaro Kuriki Olivo (Puppies Puppies), as well as performance-based projects with Emily Mast, Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa, and Oscar Santillán, among others. Delusions of Grandeur (2013-4), a cycle of performances by Liz Glynn throughout the museum campus, resulted in a suite of Rodin-inspired bronze sculptures later exhibited and acquired by LACMA. Blondet also programmed performance projects for the theater or gallery spaces by Guy de Cointet, Coco Fusco, Juan José Gurrola, and Rachel Mason, as well as playwrights and choreographers. “MOCA has occupied a place in my imagination for a long time, even before I set foot in Los Angeles, thanks to its unrivaled collection, publications, groundbreaking exhibitions, and heralded curators,” said Blondet. “The prospect of working with esteemed colleagues to build upon this legacy—adding new voices to reimagine it here and now, while embracing an ample latitude of practices and a growing audience—is truly exciting. Growing up in Venezuela, I’m eager to facilitate generative dialogues with artists working in Central and South America, and the corresponding global diasporas that flourish in the United States and elsewhere.” Blondet comes to MOCA with strong networks in Latin America, deep connections to the art scene in Los Angeles, and a background in education. He has been teaching as visiting faculty in the School of Theater at CalArts since 2014, and previously was a professor of literature at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. Prior to his time in Los Angeles, he managed the education programs at Dia:Beacon, and was the Director of Education at the Museum of Fine Arts, Caracas. Currently Blondet sits on the advisory board of the Center for New Performances at CalArts, as well as the acquisitions committee of Museo Tamayo. He graduated from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in 2003, thanks to a fellowship from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection. Image credit: Portrait of José Luis Blondet. Photo by David de Rozas.
Copyright ©2023  The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). All rights reserved.
MOCA on Instagram on Facebook
MOCA on Twitter
MOCA on YouTube
MOCA on Tumblr

About the author

Ritenis Aksel

Leave a Comment