Rudolf de Crignis Newsletter
October 2012


I hope this month's newsletter finds you well . . .

As you (likely) know, we are just weeks away from the publication of the Rudolf de Crignis monograph. In the past few weeks, we made some color corrections to the black/white photos in the book's Chronology section and re-worked the jacket design. In essence, the book is now complete, and we await its physical arrival.

Rudolf de Crignis: New York, 1985 - 2006 will be available in stores and online, from Radius Books, in the coming weeks. But you can pre-order it here from the publisher or here from the distributor, D.A.P. | Distributed Art Publishers.

Surrounding the book's release is an exhibition I'm especially excited about. Early next year, Rudolf de Crignis paintings and works-on-paper will be the focus of an exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum -- or, as its officially known, University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Titled Rudolf de Crignis / MATRIX 245, this exhibition commences January 30, 2013, and runs through May 5, 2013. It is the artist's first one-person exhibition at a U.S. museum.

At the same time, the Berkeley Art Museum will be home to the group exhibition, Silence. Inspired by John Cage's 1952 musical composition, 4'33", and co-organized by the Menil Collection, Houston, Silence includes works by Joseph Beuys, Christian Marclay, Max Neuhaus, Bruce Nauman, Tino Sehgal, and others.

These two exhibitions, running concurrently, appear to be made for each other. I look forward to experiencing them together.

Now, though, and as always, I thank you for your continued interest in the work and legacy of Rudolf de Crignis.

All best,
Michael Paoletta 

In the coming weeks, Radius Books, Santa Fe, will publish the book, Rudolf de Crignis: New York, 1985 - 2006. It is the first monograph to focus on the life and work of the Swiss-born, New York-residing abstract artist, who passed away in 2006 from an inoperable, aggressive brain tumor.

A highlight of the book is an interview New York-based curator and collector, Joseph Cunningham, conducted with RdC. It is true that RdC rarely gave interviews - preferring, instead, to let the art speak for itself. But, in 2002, when Cunningham was organizing the exhibition Minimalist Art Now at the Elvehjem Museum of Art, in Madison, Wisconsin (now the Chazen Museum of Art), RdC agreed to a sit-down discussion of his work. During the interview, Cunningham queried RdC about the color blue, specifically, "How did you arrive at the blue?"

Here is RdC's response: "Blue was always there. With the first works on paper in black tempera, the concern was how to bring paint onto the surface. There are also some older paintings from that period and blue was always a color that was important, and yellow and red and green, purples. And then there was more clarity in my work, all the colors disappeared and blue was just constantly there. I was completely aware how difficult this was going to be - blue was really the leading color of the modern movement - it was such a burden, like Yves Klein and the sky and the sea. That was really not the cleverest decision but I thought it was a challenge. Let's work with blue, specifically ultramarine, and bring the blue onto a level where it becomes totally neutral. You look at these pieces and they are just catalysts to create the space and the light. But you don't get the feeling that you are looking into the sky or you are looking into water or that they have any relation to Yves Klein."


Below is an image of a 2007 installation of blue paintings from 1996, permanent collection, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland. (Photo: Courtesy Estate of Rudolf de Crignis.) This is one of many images in the book. More words and images to come next month . . .


In addition to the above-mentioned exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum, we are in the process of scheduling book-related exhibitions and events at galleries and institutions in the United States and Europe. Details to come.

In the meantime, and in case you missed it, I'd like to make you aware of a review that appeared in the September 2012 issue of ARTnews magazine. Click here to download a PDF of the review.
As many of you know, music has a special place in my life. In the past couple weeks, numerous albums have been released; of these, I cannot get enough of "Halcyon" by Ellie Goulding, "Between the Devil and Two Black Hearts" by 8mm, "Sun" by Cat Power, "The Truth About Love" by P!nk, "Battle Born" by the Killers, and "<album title goes here>" by deadmau5. Sure, it's an eclectic mix of music, but saddled alongside each other, these six albums create one emotionally-charged playlist.

For those desiring additional jolts of emotion, look no further than new singles from Adele ("Skyfall") and Kylie Minogue ("Flower"). Enjoy!

Until next time . . .