Rudolf De Crignis

November 20, 2003 – January 31, 2004
at Peter Blum SoHo

Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition Rudolf de Crignis: Paintings opening on November 20, at the Peter Blum Gallery, 99 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10012.

Born in 1948 in Winterthur Switzerland, De Crignis studied fine art in Zürich from 1974 - 1976. His study was influenced by the art movements of the 70's in America and Germany and he initially became a successful artist in the areas of video, photography and performance artwork.

In 1985 De Crignis received a studio fellowship which allowed him the opportunity to live and work in New York. There he shifted his focus to painting citing the influence of American painters such as Reinhardt, Ryman and Newman and the movements of abstract expressionism and minimalism. De Crignis asserts that without New York his body of work could not have been conceived.

The dominant surface color of a De Crignis painting is ultramarine blue.  However it is important to point out, the paintings are made up of multiple layers of other translucent colors, each layer covering the whole canvas. Beginning with a finely worked surface of white gesso, De Crignis builds up the painted surface with alternate layers of horizontal and vertical brushstrokes using translucent veils of ultramarine blue, white and other colors; such as Scheveningen orange, silver, radiant lemon yellow and gold.  The effect is to create a seemingly infinite depth of space as light enters the uninflected perfect surface and interacts with the white ground and the overlying layers of color.  De Crignis states:

    "I use the art of painting to represent color as the transparent appearance of light."

In the more recent "gray" paintings, shown for the first time here, the fullness of the color emerges, as in the ultramarine works, from the layering of a large number of glazes and paint.  But, it is perhaps interesting to note, the color gray is not used. In these works the alternate horizontal and vertical brushstrokes are more visible and therefore more formative to the viewer's perception.

This is the second solo exhibition for De Crignis at Peter Blum Gallery.  Solo museum exhibitions include: Stiftung für Konstruktive und Konkrete Kunst, Zürich, 1991, Kunsthalle, Winterthur, 1995 and Centre d'art Contemporain de Demigny, France, 1996.  Group museum exhibitions include: The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 2002, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 2002, and Diözesanmuseum in Köln, 2003.

Currently De Crignis' solo exhibition can be seen at the Kunstmuseum, Bonn, until March 2004.