Pleasure Comes in Halves

The University of Illinois at Springfield Visual Arts Gallery currently features an exhibition created by Wisconsin-based artist Thaddeus Kellstadt, called “Pleasure Comes in Halves.” Organized by Jeff Robinson, Gallery Director, & Allison Lacher, Exhibitions Manager, this exhibition is a mixed media installation of art that incorporates sculpture, film, drawing, and painting to allow the artist plenty of room to express himself. Kellstadt has displayed his works throughout the nation and beyond, at places such as DEMO Project here in Springfield and Cell Project Space in London, England.

“Pleasure Comes in Halves” explores the limitations, or lack thereof, surrounding various elements of art such as medium, form, design, color, positive versus negative space, and pattern. The lack of descriptions to accompany each piece leaves the viewer plenty of room to form his or her own conclusion on its personal significance. When interviewed, though, Kellstadt likened the process of creating these eclectic works to fitting puzzle pieces together; it is understood that when one completes a puzzle, the layout and form of the pieces determine which ones fit together.

Pieces that are not complementary in shape will not fit together. Elements such as color and pattern are the primary ways in which the artist added his own flair to pre-structured pieces of wood in some of the installations. There exists a dichotomy between the fluid, creative qualities of the artist adding his desired color and pattern to the unyielding, stark canvas that wood provides.

When interviewed by Lacher, Kellstadt elaborated: “The process is a negotiation between my aspirations and the stubborn nature of the forms. Each step of the construction informs the next, with color being my ultimate instrument and negotiator.”

The juxtaposition between the nature of the artist and the nature of his medium create an intriguing dual sight for the viewer. Other pieces in the exhibition include a mixed media portrait and an installation with a video of various different colors producing abstract, static-like movements.

“Pleasure Comes in Halves” has been available for viewing since January 14 and will remain open to the public until February 14. It can be found in Room 201 of the Health & Sciences building (HSB) on campus, which is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The reception was held on January 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information, visit the website of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery at visualarts/gallery. To contact the gallery, do so by phone at (217)-206-6506 or by email at [email protected]