Kim MacConnel attended the University of California, San Diego where he received a BFA degree in 1969 and an MFA degree in 1972. He lives in Encinitas, CA. He taught at the University from 1975-1980, and was named a professor in the Visual Arts Department in 1987 and remained teaching there until 2009. MacConnel is one of the founding artists of the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s, and began showing with the Holly Solomon Gallery, NY in 1976. The gallery became a stronghold of the movement. His work is in numerous public collections including the Albright Knox, Buffalo, NY; Brooklyn Museum; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Fowler Museum, UCLA; Frederick R. Weisman Collection, Los Angeles; McNay Museum, San Antonio; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Neue Galerie/Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany; Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.

MacConnel's paintings, drawings and sculpture, including furniture, have been in exhibitions at museums and galleries around the world including the Whitney Biennials of 1975, 1977, 1979,1980, 1985; the Museum of Ghent, Belgium; PS 1, Long Island City; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Museum of Modern Art, NY; and many others. He has been showing with the Rosamund Felsen Gallery since 2002.