Frontier Thesis

Exhibition Images

Aug 1, 2014 - Sep 27, 2014

David McConnell's paintings balance representation and abstraction, peppered with references to the 20th century art avant-garde, symbolic imagery of his musical history, and other uniquely American cultural practices. Improvisational splashes of color, found materials, and text are inseparable from his collage-like approach to recording music. His sculptures and installations often consists of vintage sound machines such as turntables and music boxes, the visible mechanics producing a warmth of sound in real time, a refreshing respite from the cold precision of digital sound consumption. The artist's color palette is readily identifiable, regardless of medium. The neutral browns of tweed phonographs contrasting harmoniously with the bright and colorful representations of audio waveforms.

McConnell began his career as a song writer and record producer in Los Angeles where he worked on album projects with iconic recording artists such as Elliott Smith and Lou Barlow of Folk Implosion and Dinosaur Jr. Although McConnell made music for labels such as Virgin Records and Dreamworks, the industry ultimately deemed his work too experimental or avant-garde to be commercially successful. McConnell exited the commercial music world and entered the visual art world after leaving his native California and relocating to North Carolina in 2004. He began making sound installations and large paintings that referenced the iconography and mythology of the music world. These works often address the clash of music culture and religious ideology.


McConnell’s work has been discussed or featured in publications such as Spin Magazine, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Bay Guardian and on NPR. In 2012 McConnell won the North Carolina Artist Fellowship Award.

Exhibition Images

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