Los Angeles

Kim MacConnel

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The centerpiece of a Pattern and Decoration–fest filling six Bergamot Station venues, this exhibition showcases thirty years of work by San Diego–area artist Kim MacConnel, one of the best-known West Coast P&D devotees. Curated by Michael Duncan, who organized two other P&D shows on view across the parking lot, this survey revealed MacConnel’s work as far more complex than the words “pattern” and “decoration” might imply.

A piece like Top Dollar, 1979, confirms MacConnel as a lover of color and a shrewd practitioner of garish formalism, and demonstrates the artist’s flair for smart semiotic play on the levels of style, material, symbol, and image. In this work, MacConnel overlays clip art–ish diagrams of modern architecture onto patchwork and plaid; images of transistor radios atop diamond-based geometric patterns; and electrons orbiting nuclei over a handkerchief’s pinwheels and snowflakes.

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