Chicago

Thomas Kapsalis

Evanston Library

Thomas Kapsalis showed what was almost a retrospective group of paintings at the Evanston Library during the month of December. Although some works were done (at least they were begun) a decade or more ago it must be conceded that no single date can be given to most of his paintings since they are often worked and reworked. This is typical of Kapsalis’s way of painting and the textures, and the surfaces, the colors and even the forms themselves do not remain stable but are “worried” into their present (not always finished) state. This may be an advantage in achieving his highly personal style and every nuance is given a heightened value although remaining delicate and restrained. The process sounds tentative and it can often be a hazard since not all of his works, at least the initial idea, can be manipulated in such a manner, but when successful it infuses pure elements of form with richly alternate layers of meaning.

In all of Kapsalis’s work the influence of Cubism is strong and the fluctuating, quivering interaction and dissolution of planes and space is the key to his quiet, understated crystalline patterns and shadowed spaces. His work is usually completely abstract and even in the exceptions, such as the fine Portraits, the content is muted and subdued.

Whitney Halstead