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Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California (BAM/PFA) presents Rudolf de Crignis: MATRIX 245

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California (BAM/PFA) presents Rudolf de Crignis: MATRIX 245 on January 30–May 5, 2013.

Rudolf de Crignis, Painting #02-26, 2002. Oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches. Courtesy Estate of Rudolf de Crignis. Photo: Christopher Burke Studio.

Though the Swiss-born Rudolf de Crignis (1948–2006) suffered an untimely death at the age of fifty-eight, the artist left behind a large and magnificent body of work, including a vast collection of the meditative paintings for which he is renowned. He began his career as a performance and video artist, but a series of trips to New York in the early 1980s changed the course of his pursuits. Exhilarated by the Minimalist abstract works he saw there, de Crignis made New York his primary residence in 1985, and soon began producing a series of seemingly monochromatic paintings that explore relationships among color, light, space, and viewer.

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presentation of Rudolf de Crignis / MATRIX 245 is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. The show brings together fourteen of the artist’s signature blue and gray oil paintings, as well as eight graphite works on paper, produced between 1991 and 2006. At first viewing, de Crignis’s paintings appear to be deeply saturated monochromes, but then they reveal themselves to be the result of layers upon layers of thin oil washes (sometimes as many as sixty) with resonant tints of other hues. His exquisitely blue and gray paintings—no two alike—actually comprise an array of pigments—including ultramarine, cobalt blue, royal blue, Scheveningen Warm Gray, and Persian red. Displayed in natural light, the works are exercises in slow looking, unfolding as one views them from different vantage points.

While de Crignis’s oil paintings are the end result of a slow accumulation of materials, his delicate works on paper, which he called “paintings,” are the culmination of a process of reduction. Using hard pencils, de Crignis covered the paper with horizontal and vertical lines, then erased them—a process that he repeated several times with each work. The partially erased graphite lines create a slight vibration, an optical pulse that can resemble the brushwork in his canvas works.

In 2005 de Crignis wrote about his paintings as works in progress, one decision leading to the next without a preordained plan. Above all though, his goal was for his painting to be perceived as an experience.

For more information about the exhibition click here.

Rudolf de Crignis and Color: Lawrence Rinder and Karen Schloss in Conversation
Wednesday, March 6, noon
How do we perceive color spatially, perceptually, and emotionally? Join us for an exploration of these questions and others at this event celebrating the forthcoming publication of Rudolf de Crignis New York 1985–2006, published by Radius Books and with a foreword by BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder. Rinder talks with Karen B. Schloss, a postdoctoral researcher in the Palmer Visual Perception and Aesthetics Lab at UC Berkeley, who specializes in color perception and behavioral studies of aesthetics. A book signing follows.

Related materials
Rudolf de Crignis New York 1985–2006
Foreword by Lawrence Rinder. Text by Georg Imdahl. Interview with the artist by Joseph Cunningham.
Published by Radius Books
ISBN: 978-1-934435-38-0
Hardcover, 9.5 x 12.5 in., 256 pages, 120 color illustrations
Publication date: Spring 2013

MATRIX 245 is organized by Chief Curator and Director of Programs and Collections Lucinda Barnes in collaboration with the Estate of Rudolf de Crignis. The MATRIX Program is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees

University of California,
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film
Archive (BAM/PFA)
Woo Hon Fai Hall
2625 Durant Ave. #2250
Berkeley, CA 94720-2250
T 510 642 0808

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