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Keith Sonnier, Ucua, 2016, neon, mirrors, enamel neon blackout paint, black enamel paint, black electrical cable, transformer and rubber end caps, 69" × 60" × 9" (175.3 cm × 152.4 cm × 22.9 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Keith Sonnier

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1941, Mamou, LA

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Keith Sonnier radically reinvented sculpture in the late 1960s.

Employing unusual materials that had never before been used, Sonnier, along with his contemporaries, Bruce Nauman, Richard Tuttle, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra, and Barry Le Va, called all previous conceptions of sculpture into question. Sonnier has experimented with materials as varied as latex, satin, bamboo, found objects, satellite transmitters, and video. In 1968, the artist began working with neon, which quickly became a defining element of his work. The linear quality of neon allows Sonnier to draw in space with light and color, while the diffuseness of the light enables his work to interact on various architectural planes.

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Keith Sonnier, Cula, 2016, neon, black abrasive grinding discs, synthetic silicon carbide sanding screens, enamel neon blackout paint, black electrical cable, transformer and rubber end caps, 67" × 53" × 13" (170.2 cm × 134.6 cm × 33 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Sonnier has been the subject of over 150 one-artist exhibitions worldwide, including Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1979); P.S. 1 Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Long Island City (1983); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (1989); Sprengel Museum, Hanover (1993); Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York (1999); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (1999); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2003); the Hall Art Foundation, Reading, Vermont (2015); Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice (2015); and Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York (2018).

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Keith Sonnier, Lunar Slice, 2013, neon, acrylic, aluminum, electrical wire and transformer, 11' 1" x 9' 3-1/2" x 4" (337.8 cm x 283.2 cm x 10.2 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Keith Sonnier, Zig Zag Square, 2013, neon, enamel paint, glass, aluminum, electrical wire and transformer, 96" x 9' 11" x 9-1/2" (243.8 cm x 302.3 cm x 24.1 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Keith Sonnier, USA: War of the Worlds, 2004, neon, transformer and found objects, 48" x 48" x 28" (121.9 cm x 121.9 cm x 71.1 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Keith Sonnier, Bound Saw Palm, 2004, neon, transformer and wire, 66" x 36" x 9" (167.6 cm x 91.4 cm x 22.9 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Keith Sonnier, Lit Circle Red with Flutex Glass, 1968, glass, neon, etched glass, black electrical cable and transformer and rubber end caps, 59-1/2" × 60" × 12" (151.1 cm × 152.4 cm × 30.5 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Keith Sonnier, Neon Wrapping Incandescent Study, 1968-69, permanent ink on graph paper, 8-1/8" × 11-1/2" (20.6 cm × 29.2 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Keith Sonnier, Lobbed Shape 2, 2013, foamcore, charcoal, marker, and acrylic paint, 13-1/4" x 13-1/4" x 1" (33.7 cm x 33.7 cm x 2.5 cm) © 2019 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York