Joseph Clayes III Gallery
Kim MacConnel: Collection of Applied Design
October 23–December 31, 2004
This exhibition combined images from original Chinese booklets of advertising images dating to the early 1970s—which are probably best described as Chinese “clip-art”—with MacConnel’s own paintings, drawings on paper, collage, and even place mats. This body of work began in 1973 when Kim MacConnel was in Hong Kong. Escaping from a luncheonette on a bitingly cold snowy morning to a newsstand/bookstore, the artist came across the first small newsprint booklet, A Collection of Applied Designs. “I opened it,” he writes, “and what followed is the next ten years of my life.” That book, and others in the series, including Ladies Drawing, Drawing in Play, and Vehicle Drawing, became the basis for MacConnel’s own versions of these random, badly-drawn images as his comment on his time and that period in Chinese history. Kim MacConnel has been showing works under the title Collection Applied Design since the 1970s, but the Athenaeum exhibition is the first time these particular works have been shown as a collection.