Häusler Contemporary

Keith Sonnier at Whitechapel Gallery, London

Keith Sonnier at Whitechapel Gallery, London

Keith Sonnier, »Dot Dash Corner«, 1979/91 | neon, alumnium, paint | 246.4 x 139.7 x 152.4 cm

Keith Sonnier, »Dot Dash Corner«, 1979/91 | neon, alumnium, paint | 246.4 x 139.7 x 152.4 cm

Keith Sonnier »Light Works«
Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
June 10 – September 11,2016

Making three-dimensional drawings with neon, American artist Keith Sonnier (born 1941) bathes spaces and bodies in the radiance of coloured light. Coming of age with a group of artists that included Lynda Benglis, Mary Heilmann, Bruce Nauman and Richard Serra, he uses a post-minimalist language that is physically immediate yet associative. American critic Donald Kuspit remarks, »Sonnier’s sculpture attracts our attention, like semaphore signals from a strange zone of feeling«.

Four major early neon works made between 1968 and 1970 transform the 19th-century architecture of the Gallery. »Neon has always been a material in signage that one lays flat, and one in fact writes with. But I began to lift it from the board, and pull out into space, and use it in a much more three-dimensional form«. He combines neon with other industrial materials like glass, foam rubber and wiring. Geometric form contrasts with dashes of colour and a luminous glow to suggest the syntax of poetry and a nod to Sonnier’s roots in the multi-lingual, Creole culture of Louisiana.

(excerpt from the Whitechapel Gallery’s press release)

[top]