Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Launch Party August 19th at Blum and Poe
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale
by Thomas Duncan

Broken Language
at Shulamiit Nazarian
by Angella d'Avignon

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum
by Matt Stromberg

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects
by Aaron Horst

Home
at LACMA
by Simone Krug

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
by Hana Cohn
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures: Alice Könitz and LAMOA Catherine Wagley
Interview with Penny Slinger Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Launch Party
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
by Jonathan Griffin

Jennie Jieun Lee
by Stuart Krimko

Trisha Baga
by Lindsay Preston Zappas

Jimmie Durham
by Molly Larkey

Parallel City
by Hana Cohn

Jason Rhodes
by Matt Stromberg
Generous
Structures
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature by Thomas Duncan
Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler by Stuart Krimko
Karl Haendel by Aaron Horst
Wolfgang Tillmans by Eli Diner
Ma by Claire de Dobay Rifelj
The Rat Bastard Protective Association by Pablo Lopez
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews:
Made in L.A. 2016
Doug Aitken Electric Earth
Mertzbau

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
Mark A. Rodruigez
The Weeping Line
Molly Larkey, Aaron Horst,
Keith J. Varadi, Katie Bode,
Stuart Krimko, Matt Stromberg
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Launch Party Carla Issue 5
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Hana Cohn, Eli Diner,
Claire De Dobay Rifelj,
Katie Bode, Molly Larkey,
Keith J. Varadi
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater
Diana Thater
at LACMA
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Launch Party Carla Issue 4
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj,
Matt Stromberg, Hana Cohn,
Lindsay Preston Zappas,
Simone Krug, Keith Vaughn,
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
and LOUDHAILER
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Launch Party Carla Issue 3
Share Your Piece of the Puzzle Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Eli Diner, Jonathan Griffin,
Don Edler, Aaron Horst
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Reviews Benjamin Lord, Aaron Horst, Stephen Kent
Top-Down Bottom-Up Jenny Gagalka
Snap Reviews Aaron Horst, Char Jansen, Randy Rice, Lindsay Preston Zappas
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee
William Pope.L’s Reenactor
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
MEAT PHYSICS/
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
Mateo Tannatt
Photographs
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
VESSEL // CINS and
VESSEL // PERF
Ben Medansky
I've been a lot of places,
seen so many faces
Nora Slade
Launch Party Carla Issue 1
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Catherine Wagley, Keith Vaughn, Aaron Horst, Kate Wolf, Mateo Tannatt, Evan Moffitt, Cal Siegel
We’re in This Together Lauren Cherry & Max Springer
Distribution
Downtown
ARTBOOK @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
Club Pro
Dalton Warehouse
Elevator Mondays
The Geffen Contemporary 
at MOCA
Ghebaly Gallery
ICA LA
LACA
MAMA
Mistake Room
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Night Gallery
The Box
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
BBQLA
Chimento Contemporary
Charlie James
Human Resources
Ibid Gallery
Ooga Booga
Ooga Twooga
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
Nicodim Gallery
Venus Over Los Angeles
Eastside
AWHRHWAR
67 Steps
ESXLA
Otherwild
SADE
Smart Objects
Skibum MacArthur
Westside
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
College of Art and Design
Christopher Grimes Gallery
DXIX Projects
Five Car Garage
Team (Bungalow)
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Armory Center for the Arts
The Pit
Los Angeles Valley College
Natural
The Art Gallery @ GCC
Mid-City
1301 PE
Big Pictures Los Angeles
California African American Museum
Chainlink Gallery
Commonwealth & Council
David Kordansky Gallery
H I L D E
JOAN
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
LACMA
ltd Los Angeles
Marc Foxx
Shoot the Lobster
Ochi Projects
Park View
Praz-Delavallade
The Landing
SPRÜTH MAGERS
The Underground Museum
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Visitor Welcome Center
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
Arcana Books
Blum & Poe
Cherry and Martin
Honor Fraser
Klowden Mann
Luis De Jesus
Roberts and Tilton
Susanne Vielmetter
Hollywood
Diane Rosenstein
Family Books
GAVLAK
Hannah Hoffman
LACE
LA><ART
M+B
Nino Mier Gallery
Moskowitz Bayse
Noysky Projects
Regen Projects
Shulamit Nazarian
Various Small Fires
South Bay
DMV
Grab Bag Studios
The Torrance Art Museum
Elsewhere in CA
Alter Space (San Francisco)
City Limits (Oakland)
Et al. (San Francisco)
Ever Gold Projects (San Francisco)
fused space (San Francisco)
Gym Standard (San Diego)
Helmuth Projects (San Diego)
Interface Gallery (Oakland)
Jessica Silverman (San Francisco)
Left Field (San Luis Obispo)
San Diego Art Institute (San Diego)
Verve Center for the Arts (Sacramento)
Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco)
Non CA
Artbook @ MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY)
Editions Kavi Gupta (Chicago, IL)
Good Weather (North Little Rock, AK)
Nationale (Portland, OR)
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME)
Small Editions (Brooklyn, NY)
Space 42 (Jacksonville, FL)
Spoonbill & Sugartown (Brooklyn, NY)
Ulises (Philadelphia, PA)
Libraries/ Collections
Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
CalArts (Valencia, CA)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
El 123 (México City, MX)
John M. Flaxman Library at SAIC (Chicago, IL)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Research Library (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Marpha Foundation (Marpha, Nepal)
Maryland Institute College of Art, The Decker Library (Baltimore, MD)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library (New York, NY)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, John M. Flaxman Library (Chicago, IL)
Scholes Library, NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Skowhegan Archives (New York, NY)
Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York, NY)
Telfair Museum (Savannah, GA)
USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Support Structures

Alice Könitz and LAMOA

Sharp Elbows (2015) (installation view). Image courtesy of Los Angeles Museum of Art.

After dark on the second Saturday of April, a small crowd on Occidental College’s dimly-lit campus sat waiting for something to happen. Many of them knew each other—it had the ease of a friendly gathering. The group faced a 14-foot wide structure that could have passed for a tasteful shed. In fact, it was the Los Angeles Museum of Art (LAMOA), an exhibition structure with removable walls, built by artist Alice Könitz in 2012. At quarter past 8 p.m., artist Isabell Spengler and her collaborator, Priyanka Ram, emerged from behind the structure, both of them wearing handmade headdresses. Footage shot by Spengler played out across the museum’s facade, showing a forest and a starlet (named Starlight, according to the press release) in a blue sleep mask, while Spengler and Ram provided a live soundtrack of electronic music and reverberating words whispered into microphones.

Inside, Spengler had divided LAMOA into two chambers, one light and one dark. Each held a vanity, a set of bejeweled slippers and a pack of “Hollywood” gum. A two-way mirror separated them. This snug world had the precision of a well-planned stage set, in contrast the loosely formed performance happening outside.

This is the second to last LAMOA show on Occidental’s campus. After artist Neha Choski exhibits in May, Könitz will dismantle the museum as she decides where, if anywhere, it should live next. When it does go into hibernation this summer, what we’ll be missing is the quiet, constant reminder it’s been for the past five years: that an art object can be inherently generous, built and maintained to support the practices of others.

LAMOA officially opened in December 2012, in the paved lot outside of Könitz’s former Eagle Rock studio. Eight months prior, Könitz launched a fundraising campaign on Hatchfund.org, proposing a 9 x 14 foot space with removable walls, four skylights, solar panels, and bricks to elevate and protect it from potential rain. Artists would be “invited to present their work in a way that best suits them.”

LAMOA arrived at a moment when art museums in Los Angeles were under intense scrutiny. LACMA had just invested in Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass, a $10 million dollar monument centered around a big boulder, reaffirming its interest in the monolithically impressive (and inviting criticism of its use of resources). Chief curator Paul Schimmel had just left MOCA, and all the artist board members resigned in protest, thus—temporarily—ending the institution’s run as an “artists museum,” a title it acquired at its 1979 founding. In his thorough Artforum tribute to the Museum of Public Fiction (the now nomadic project Lauren Mackler started in Highland Park in 2010), Michael Ned Holte mentioned both LAMOA and the Underground Museum as “fellow micro institutions” that rose up during MOCA’s period of apparent chaos, unhindered by “administrative bureaucracies and status-conscious boards.” They are “far more nimble” than typical museums. (1) “It’s not an answer to the problems that our big museums have, but it is an alternative,” Könitz told writer Travis Diehl in April 2013. (2) Her museum proposes that artists can validate each other’s projects by building platforms of their own, rather than waiting or angling for institutional attention.

The early LAMOA exhibitions on the lot outside Könitz’s studio tended to be modular, responding to and even mirroring the museum’s architecture. This gave the shows noticeable visual resonance with Könitz’s own studio work: rough edged, often-functional objects that riffed lightly on mid-century design. Katie Grinnan’s F.Y.I. (2013), a neon green metal infrastructure that vaguely resembled a jungle gym, held files Grinnan compiled with help of friends and family. Visitors could sit on purple exercise machine seats and read info organized by topic (“Bugs,” “Catasterism”). Shortly after, Sonia Leimer installed a series of metal tables, each smaller than the next, with intentionally dry collages of dollar bills or vintage buildings placed under glass surfaces. At the show’s end, Leimer and Könitz jumped through the breakaway glass they’d installed along LAMOA’s easternmost wall.

Events at the museum felt insular—this was a project for a community—but not pretentious. Openings could be like tailgates. Könitz also still posts all the press releases on a WordPress blog where fonts change according to projects and functionality trumps polish.

Paul Gellman, The Real Art Hangers of Cheviot Hills (2016). Image courtesy of Los Angeles Museum of Art. Photo: Rainer Komers.

Sometimes when artists open spaces, they necessarily hone their personas to best promote their projects. Or, as with Maurizio Cattelan and his satirically miniature Wrong Gallery, the space becomes an extension of an artist’s persona. In Könitz’s case, her personal practice has become difficult to distinguish from LAMOA, as the museum itself is her work. When she participated in the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. biennial in 2014, LAMOA was listed in the program, not Könitz; she served as the museum proprietor. The $100,000 Mohn Award, given to one artist in the biennial, went to the museum, according to the jury’s statement, which referred to Könitz as its creator, though the award also included the publication of a monograph chronicling her work since 1993.


Her 2016 solo exhibition at Commonwealth & Council in Koreatown—which she called Commonwealth, conflating her show with the space hosting it—did not include the museum but instead consisted of what she called “social, site-specific sculptures.” The night of the opening, a concierge manned the modular, geometric, Mondrian-colored kiosk in the main gallery, handing out snacks through perfectly round holes. In the gallery’s office, Könitz left behind DS [Display System] #3 (2016), an attractive steel and glass display case that held colorful and clownish figurines by artist Paul Gellman (aka Tall Paul).

By this point, LAMOA had temporarily inhabited three different institutions. After its time at the Hammer in 2014, where it appeared more stationary and object-like than it did elsewhere, it moved to the Armory Center for the Arts. It lived inside the galleries there for six months, as part of an exhibition called The Fifth Wall, a show inside a show with its own “independent programming” (Olivia Booth hung glass cylinders from rods; Tobjorn Vejvi’s sculpted busts became the set for a sound performance). At the start of 2015, LAMOA returned to a different lot in Eagle Rock—Könitz had left her former studio—and, in September 2015, it moved to the lawn outside the library at Occidental College (“award-winning work,” the college’s PR department called it in a public announcement).

Sitting outside on campus grass, it felt more like public art, incidental and not precious. In summer 2016, it hosted a performance by Paul Gellman based on his satirical memoir/script, The Real Art Hangers of Cheviot Hills. Ruby Neri built the accompanying installation, which mostly consisted of loosely painted Hellenic figures (chiseled nudes, angels). As part of Scott Cassidy’s installation of an inverted “white house” suspended from LAMOA’s roof, the museum hosted a comedy night. It wasn’t obvious how stand-up related to the show, except that Cassidy’s work is funny and his white house included little holes through which you could see dioramas: a bureaucratic machine built of cardboard boxes that said “no one cares.” Comedy night happened in Occidental’s amphitheater, and Cassidy’s wife, Maria Bamford of Netflix’ Lady Dynamite, headlined. Her semi-celebrity presence barely altered LAMOA’s small-scale, relaxed mood. Fans of the museum and friends of the performers attended; a few college students wandered in.

Since Könitz built LAMOA, the art world in Los Angeles has expanded to include four more collector-run museums and a growing number of transplanted blue-chip galleries from the East Coast and Europe. MOCA’s new regime hasn’t actually been as inclusive or rigorous as we’d dreamed—fashion designer Rick Owens; market-established Doug Aitken; Carl Andre; and two shows of work by reenlisted board member, Cathy Opie. Alt spaces aren’t immune to the angling that growth invites. When Arturo Bandini started hosting shows in a Highland Park back lot, the setting had physical similarities to LAMOA’s early exhibitions: visitors found themselves behind a studio complex, looking at art in a shed shaped construction. But within a year, Arturo Bandini was hosting a pseudo art fair of their own, facilitating market dynamics if from a satirical or alt position.

That LAMOA and its peers (the Museum of Public Fiction in particular) predated and perhaps anticipated this newest shift toward professionalism in our local scene makes their contributions more precious. The need for other platforms grows in proportion to the homogeneity that upward mobility invites. Certainly other alt and artist run spaces have contributed to a generous ethos in recent years (Chin’s Push comes to mind), but LAMOA was in itself built to make supporting each other structurally feasible.

In a 2014 interview, Könitz cited two artist-made museums as influences: Marcel Broodthaer’s Musee d’Art de Modern, an itinerant archive that fluctuated according to the artist’s whims; and Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum, a Mickey-shaped structure that mostly held his own work.3 Both were experiments in taking on and reshaping power of the institution; neither relied that much on others. Broodthaers, for instance, played artist, curator, and director. LAMOA too has self-appointed authority and the agility to blur boundaries, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting had it not morphed in response to many artists’ visions.

The project, always limited by its founder’s network, may not be an answer, as Könitz said four years ago, to the problems and exclusivities of our institutions. But if enough artists become infrastructure for the art worlds they believe in, such problems may become besides the point.

 

Los Angeles Museum of Art (2017) (installation view). Image courtesy of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photo: Brian Forrest.

Kelly Coats and Kathleen Kim, Get Back (2014). Musical performance, Los Angeles Museum of Art at The Armory Center for the Arts. Image courtesy of the Armory Center for the Arts.

Los Angeles Museum of Art (2017) (installation view). Image courtesy of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photo: Brian Forrest.

Gabrielle Jennings, Start by Discarding (2016) (installation view). Los Angeles Museum of Art at Occidental College. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Rachel Bank.

Ruby Neri, The Villa of Mysteries, Paul Gellman, The Real Art Hangers of Cheviot Hills (2016). Image courtesy of Los Angeles Museum of Art. Photo: Rainer Komers.

Andreas Fogarasi, Book Launch, (2017). Photo: Sean Deckert.

  1. Michael Ned Holte, “Systems of Belief,” Artforum, February 2016.
  1. As Told to Travis Diehl, “Alice Könitz talks about the Los Angeles Museum of Art,” Artforum.com, February 2, 2013, https://www.artforum.com/words/id=39474.
  1. “Alice Könitz on micro museums and the Los Angeles Museum of Art,” L.A. Forum, Delirious L.A., 2014, http://alicekonitz.com/pages/la-forum-delirious-la-2014/.

 

Originally published in Carla issue 8