Los Angeles

Kim MacConnel

Jan Baum Gallery

Why would Kim MacConnel turn his back on a perfectly acceptable strategy for painting, one he earned the right to use as one of the original pattern painters of the ’70s? If he had to do it, why didn’t he exchange one slightly tired formula for a newer, more intellectually respectable one? MacConnel is a bright fellow and he must know why choosing from among carefully considered alternatives is so crucial to the careers of painters in the late ’80s. But no, in a perfectly perverse move, he has elected to return to some old, insoluble and by now virtually antique problems of composition. In his new paintings, grand irregular wedges of color jostle each other in a densely packed space, now evocative of a broad landscape, now busy and crowded as a mid-city intersection. A poignant bravado reminiscent of pre-World War II geometric abstraction inhabits this work. One hears the muffled voices

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