Kim MacConnel

ABRACADABRA (Rabbits 14, 11, 24, 27)


Kim MacConnel has lived in San Diego since he moved there from Oklahoma in 1965 to attend college. He is known for vibrant painting, which he has applied as often to cast-off furniture and commercially printed fabric as to panels like those on display in the Smith Cardiovascular Research Building at UCSF. While his work is most often categorized as belonging to the Pattern and Decoration movement that gained momentum from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, his body of work is uniquely its own and his style continues to resonate several decades after the heyday of that movement has passed. MacConnel draws on a wide swath of influences in the designs he chooses to incorporate into his paintings. One critic characterized these as including “Moroccan interiors by Matisse, African tribal patterns as filtered through Picasso, old California textiles from between the two world wars, Disney-style jet age motifs and Color-field abstractions from the 1960s.” This kind of eclecticism now finds a home in a research institution where scientists draw inspiration from multiple fields in order to synthesize new ideas and innovations. MacConnel here assembled four separate paintings as one, where the sequence of forms and intervals in relation to each other - both within and outside each painting - counts for more than the individual works.