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Former Ohio State instructor looking to vibrate hearts with abstract art exhibit

Courtesy of Louise Captein

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While Louise Captein’s new art exhibit at Ohio State’s Faculty Club lacks any kind of funky disco beat, it manages to give audiences a reason to get pumped up about it. Her exhibit “Expression of Dynamic Form” is all about energizing the audience.  

“I hope peoples’ hearts start to beat a little faster as a result of looking at my works,” the Dutch artist said. “For that to happen, works need to be alive.”

Captein graduated from Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academie with a master’s in fine arts. In the late 1990s, she moved to Ohio with her husband and later worked as an instructor in the Department of Art at Ohio State from 1999 to 2009. Captein is currently an associate professor at Otterbein University.  

Captein’s new exhibit provides her the opportunity to come to OSU as an artist for the first time.

The exhibit is scheduled to go on display at the Faculty Club Aug. 30 and remain through Oct. 26.

Captein said as an abstract artist she’s focused on showing how a shape can be read in multiple ways, and she wants to share the energy in her works with OSU students and faculty.

“My works in this exhibition are truly dynamic through their colors and through their forms,” Captein said. “You can feel movement in every level – from top to bottom, left to right and back to front.”

To animate her paintings, Captein said she combines diverse colors from bright to muted, and the interaction with all the other colors creates a good balance and gives a sense of liveliness.
Captein said her art process is similar to the “joy of life.”

“In terms of my process, there’s always the aspect of change,” Captein said. “I do not plan everything. It’s improvisational and experimental. In life, people have to respond to the things that they didn’t plan. Things just pop up.”

Captein said she also draws inspiration from dealing with the unexpected events.

“Every time I start my work, I’m just eager to make new discoveries,” Captein said. “I give room to explore and try to find new creative ways.”

She said her paintings originated from telling her life experiences.

“I love being around my paintings because it gives me the sense of how things have changed over time,” Captein said. “It shows my past experiences in the Netherlands and present in America.”

Although some OSU students are not familiar with Captein’s, a few students said they are interested in seeing her exhibit.

Carolyn Dunifon, a second-year in social work, said she has not heard of Captein but she loves abstract art in general.

“I think abstract paintings convey artists’ lives well,” Dunifon said. “I’ve been in many art classes and teachers taught me how to look at pictures and different things to look at. I’m pretty sure that I will enjoy the exhibition.”

Sarah Tackett, a second-year in music education, also said she is attracted to abstract paintings.

“I think I can have the sense of inspiration through the abstract paintings,” Tackett said. “I’ve never heard of (Captein), but I would love to visit her exhibition.”

Captein said her goal is to cause subtle movements in anyone, whether they know about art or not.

“My art isn’t really aggressive or extreme like punching in the mouth or punching in your stomach, but it vibrates your heart,” Captein said. 

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