Squid Decoration (1979)
Trout Decoration (1979)
Two sea creatures adorn the exhibition space. Squid and trout, surrounded by ornamental sea plants, were cut from simple cardboard, shaped into three dimensions and then painted. With the wall objects Squid Decoration and Trout Decoration, Kim MacConnel blurs the boundary between art and utilitarian object or decoration. The artist borrows his colourful motifs from the arts and crafts of American minorities, Islamic pictorial traditions or, as here, Chinese clipart books – collections of motifs used in advertising with illustrations of all kinds of things. In his often provocatively lapidary works, MacConnel not only celebrates the power of the trivial, but at the same time negotiates traditional aesthetic notions of art or the political-social status of ethnic minorities.