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Louise Captein
Contemporary Paintings and Works on Paper

Artist's Statement:

My work revolves around the nuanced interplay of shapes and spaces, the subtlety and strength of colors and overall formal directness and clarity. My exploration of composition and color, which is manifest in my work, reflects the Dutch tradition in painting and design I grew up in and of which I am a part. The ways I structure the picture plane, use color and apply abstraction is influenced by my appreciation for Dutch painters like Johannes Vermeer, Piet Mondriaan Karel Appel and, among other contemporary artists, painter Han Schuil. The expressive mark making and emotive gestural qualities of Abstract Expressionist paintings of the 1950's and 60's New York School and early 20th century European Modernism are also sources of artistic inspiration.

Throughout my career I have been fascinated by the mysterious content of abstract and semi-abstract forms. This has led me to explore the multiple meanings of shapes, spaces and colors in individual collages and in series of related collages. In my process I probe the flexibility of my materials. I "push" my shapes in different directions while I test and stretch the natures and notions of my abstract and semi-abstract forms.

The question that interests me is: How stable are forms and colors when we view them in different contexts and to what degree can we juggle with their aspects before they lose their integrity? What is the breath of their meaning?

As a colorist, in my paintings I passionately fine-tune color and explore and celebrate the perceptual aspects of color, color interaction and the push and pull of color fields. When it comes to color, size matters: In my large-scale paintings, color fulfills its promise. I explore how the smallest change in color alters a mood, or reduces or refutes spatial tension in a composition. My careful balancing and control of color produces the multi-dimensional, animated effect that I am after. I intentionally keep the surfaces of my canvasses smooth, without any texture - which further maximizes the strength of my colors and the precision of my forms.

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