KEITH SONNIER (1941, Louisiana, USA)

He has investigated the nature of systems of communications from pictographs to electronics. His interest in anthropology, the traditions of primitive cultures and how they function, has led him to explore the ritualistic uses of language as well as its mythic potential. Concern with sensations (sound, touch and so forth) has led him to execute pieces in a broad range of materials, among them metal, fabric, including silk and cheesecloth, paper, and rubber, utilizing both wall and floor planes to explore his ideas for sculpture. Since the late 1960s he has worked in neon and video as well. Sonnier's investigations in the process of communication have also led him to structure environments by means of installation pieces dominated by sound and light. Keith Sonnier gained recognition in the early '70s for work that engaged the "new" medium of light. Along with Dan Flavin, Robert Irwin, and James Turrell, Sonnier experimented with neon and argon to create sculpture and installations that treated light and space as tactile materials rather than merely optical devices.

 


Exhibitions:
2010    "Personal Structures Time-Space-Existence", Kuenstlerhaus Bregenz, Austria.

Symposia:
2009    "Personal Structures Space", New Museum, New York, USA

Publications:
• De Jongh, Karlyn, Keith Sonnier. In: Flash Art # 277, USA, March-April 2011
• De Jongh, Karlyn, Light and Space: The work of Keith Sonnier. In: d’Art International 26, Spring/Summer, Canada, 2010
• Lodermeyer, Peter, Karlyn De Jongh & Sarah Gold, PERSONAL STRUCTURES: TIME SPACE EXISTENCE, DuMont Verlag, Cologne, Germany, 2009