reviews

  • Tom Allen

    Richard Telles Fine Art

    At first glance, Tom Allen’s paintings are almost too familiar—countless Romantic revivals and the continual return of representation have prepared us for these pseudo-Germanic pictures. Even as the artist hones his technique from one show to the next, a tendency to flaunt “bad taste,” or the kitsch factor, is still in evidence. But look more closely: This is neither another parody of Caspar David nor an homage.

    First, Allen’s resurrection is accomplished in a manner that might be termed site-specific: His proximity to the Hollywood dream machine and Disneyland makes all the difference. In

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  • 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

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