Deitch Projects is known for producing ambitious projects by contemporary artists. Since opening with a performance by Vanessa Beecroft in January 1996, the gallery has produced over 250 projects and public events. The gallery is global in its outlook and has presented projects by artists from 33 countries.
In addition to its projects with emerging artists, the gallery is increasingly active in producing exhibitions and books with more established artists who have been part of Jeffrey Deitch’s circle since the mid 1970s and early 1980s. The gallery is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Keith Haring, and in 2009 will be presenting projects with Francesco Clemente, Jon Kessler, and Julian Schnabel. The gallery recently presented an exhibition with Jonathan Borofsky, who created his first public wall drawing in Deitch’s 1975 Lives exhibition. In 2007, the gallery produced a book and exhibition on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work in the transitional year of 1981, when he went from working on street to working in the studio.
Deitch Projects is also known for embracing the new convergence of art, music, performance, film and design. Each year at Art Basel Miami Beach, the gallery presents a performance by a band that has emerged from the art community. Performers have included Fischerspooner, Scissor Sisters, Chicks on Speed, Coco Rosie, The Voluptous Horror of Karen Black and Devendra Banhart. In 2008, the gallery presented a performance project with one of the most influential new bands, The Gossip. In its New York galleries, Deitch Projects has presented multi-media and performance projects with Madonna and Steven Klein, the filmmaker Michel Gondry, architects LOT-EK, and the fashion designers As Four and Jeremy Scott. In January-February 2009, the gallery presented a retrospective exhibition of the work of the influential artist and designer Stephen Sprouse in collaboration with Louis Vuitton. Each September Deitch Projects presents an Art Parade on West Broadway in SoHo that draws 1,000 participants.
Some of the gallery’s most memorable projects were I Bite America and America Bites Me , the notorious 1997 performance in which Oleg Kulik lived in the gallery for two weeks as a dog, Yoko Ono’ 1998 exhibition Ex It , featuring trees growing out of 100 wooden coffins, and Street Market , in 2000 an installation by Barry McGee, Steve Powers and Todd James that recreated an apocalyptic version of an urban street. In September 2008, Deitch Projects produced a project with Swoon that included the construction of seven boats in the form of floating sculptures that sailed down the Hudson River from upstate New York and docked in front of the artist’s exhibition in the gallery’s expansive new riverfront space in Long Island City.