Jeffrey Deitch's apartment looks about right for a graduate student. He lives alone in two small rooms in a high-rise building in the West Sixties. There is no art on the walls, no prints or photographs--nothing. Deitch reasons that, because he leaves at nine in the morning and rarely returns before midnight, art would be distracting. "It would absorb me too much," he said. "This is a place where I can think clearly." A makeshift bookcase in his bedroom is stuffed with paperbacks--biographies, classic novels, Jewish history. The living room's single window has a view of Central Park, where he goes every morning to run. In good weather he runs up to the reservoir and circles it twice; in bad weather he does the Park Drive, a six-mile loop. He likes his neighborhood because it's near Lincoln Center, the Park, and his favorite movie houses. (He has never owned a country house.) Since his breakup with Laura Grisi, Deitch has had a few casual girlfriends, but marriage and family life do not tempt him. In his thirty-year allegiance to the life of art, he is as dedicated as any artist.
Deitch takes the subway downtown, and is usually in his office, on the second floor of the Grand Street gallery, by eleven. He and half a dozen young associates work in a cramped, low-ceilinged space where everyone can see and talk to everyone else, argue, and share ideas. "We decided at the start that the gallery was going to be based on an approach to art, not on a roster of artists," he told me. "I see it as a platform for creative community--the extension of life into art and art into life."
The New Yorker, November 12, 2007