July 17, 2013
By Kaveri Nair
Like the courtyard houses of Marrakesh, Los Angeles’s residential architecture turns inward, away from the busy boulevards. The result is a lot of inhospitable public space, but it can also produce a special kind of pleasure. There’s a thrill, specific to L.A., in finding an amazing restaurant in a strip mall, or venturing down an alleyway past a chain-link fence to encounter the Los Angeles Museum of Art.
Not to be confused with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the gleaming institution on Wilshire Boulevard, 10 miles to the west, this museum, known as LAMOA, is a hand-built, 13-foot-long wooden structure. It sits in a paved yard near a small cluster of art studios in Eagle Rock, a neighborhood where many artists live and work. When visitors arrive, the museum’s founder and sole staff member, the sculptor Alice Könitz, greets them with a friendly wave.
“There’s a scale difference” between LAMOA and other L.A. museums, Könitz explained, with considerable understatement. “It’s, like, me running it, instead of hundreds of professionals.” As a result, Konitz adds, though LAMOA is public, “it’s also really private.” Read More .