Judit Fekete and Zoltan Pali

[caption id="attachment_1961" align="alignnone" width="577"]Zoltan Pali and Judit Fekete. Images courtesy of MODAA. [/caption]

Directors, Museum of Design, Art and Architecture

Zoltan Pali and Judit Fekete aren’t your typical museum directors—they’re also award-winning architects. Yes, these two creative minds—who together comprise the “p” and the “f,” respectively, of their architecture firm, spf:a—take on the double duty of both building designers and overseers of their own innovative design, art, and architecture museum, housed within spf:a’s behemoth of a live/work/eat/art complex in Culver City, California.

Constructed nine years ago by the architects, the complex is home to Studio Pali Fakete Architects, a number of residential lofts, and a café—as well as a spacious, drenched-in-light museum and gallery. Says Fekete plainly, “Art and architecture live together in this building.”

The building forms a link between commercial and residential. The light here changes from one end of the building to the other in both intensity and color. The exhibits are contemporary and feature local modernists often from LA architectural schools. Here, artistic careers are established: “We launched Corbin Smith,” touts Fekete.

Light, space and metal. Traditionally the design tools of architects, these materials are also embraced by abstract artists. In February 2009, MODAA honors minimalist, award-winning artist DeWain Valentine, a force in the Los Angeles art world since 1965.  DeWain is currently at work on painted wall constructions of fabricated metal.  He has used polyester and fiberglass in his work, which he reveals comes from the boating industry. Associated with “LA Cool School” artists who used industrial materials forbidden in art school, Valentine was also influenced by the “light and space” school.  Called a “minimalist purist” by Pali, Valentine is a happening artist in a space where art and architecture merge—where medium is the message.