Cate McQuaid

De Crignis blues offer a feast for the eyes

Walk into the Howard Yezerski Gallery and you'll see five blue paintings.
They all look the same, save that two are 5 feet square and three are half 
that size. They're ultramarine blue; the surface of each is a perfect, 
uniform square. At first, you might think that this is some kind of arty, 
minimalist joke.
 Not at all. Rudolf De Crignis, who painted these blue squares, is opening 
the door to the viewer's eye to rest and begin to comprehend all the visual 
information offered. De Crignis - in his paintings that are nothing but blue, 
yet differ in extraordinarily subtle ways gives us gallery-size breathing 
room. The more time you spend with the paintings, the more discerning your 
eye becomes, and the richer your experience.
 The artist coats his canvas with gesso and then puts on layers upon layers 
of glaze, first applying it with horizontal and then vertical brushstrokes. 
Amid the coats of ultramarine blue, De Crignis every so often applies one 
other color. In the painting it's Naples yellow. In another, it's cinnabar 
green. And while each painting looks blue, the under-hues affect each in a 
different way. The painting with Naples yellow appears minutely flatter and 
denser than the one with cinnabar green. One painting, hanging at the end of 
the gallery, is pure ultramarine, and easily the most vibrant, exuberant 
 Looking at these paintings takes time. The eye has to catch up to the brain, 
which is so eager to make sense of things. De Crignis has crafted his art for 
the eye to savor and if you're patient, it's worth the wait. 

The Boston Globe, Thursday, January 13, 2000