Kim Macconnel | Black & White: Quint Contemporary Art: 7547 Girard Avenue
Quint Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of BLACK & WHITE, the tenth solo exhibition by KIM MACCONNEL at Quint Gallery. BLACK & WHITE is an exhibition of new paintings by MacConnel that harken back to the artist’s pattern designs from his flocking series of the late 1980s to early 1990s. However, in this new series he is infusing the design with a fresh painting technique and presenting the work on sleek wood boards. The opening reception is on Saturday, April 11th from 6-8pm and is open to the public; the artist will be in attendance.
This new series of black and white, enamel paintings is inspired by the artist's interest in the pictographs of the San Diego tribe of San Luiseño Indians and his study of the brightly painted family compounds found in Cameroon, Africa. Both cultures use abstract forms for religious or spiritual practice. The pictographs of the San Luiseño tribe are maze-like images adapted from Christian imagery into “spider boxes,” which are designed abstract drawings and used in Shamanistic practices. In Cameroon there is a visual tradition of painting the exteriors of the home with symbols intended to keep out evil spirits, and painting other symbols on the interiors to capture friendly ones.
Abstraction has an ancient source; it didn't begin in the modern era. Its animistic origin, whether in a still contemporary village in Cameroon or locally in century old pictographs (or in myriad other sources), bring “meaning” along with “design.” “Spider Boxes,” as I play it out, is but an artist’s play. – Kim MacConnel
In MacConnel’s well documented trip to Western and sub-Saharan Africa in 1989, he speaks of how he went “in search of Picasso’s ghost;” meaning he researched the African tribal masks and traditions that Picasso incorporated in his own tribal art and cubist paintings like Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. MacConnel’s work has always had ties to art history while also exploring international cultures and traditions. This new series has roots in local and international cultural traditions, while also being informed by art historical characters.
Kim MacConnel retired as professor of painting at UCSD in 2009. MacConnel’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, Madrid, Tijuana and Cologne. The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego held a retrospective of his work called Collection Applied Design in 2010. MacConnel’s work is in the collections of the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. MacConnel currently lives and works in Encinitas, CA.