Selected works 1996 - 2008 in light, metal and cloth
15 April - 27 May, 2010
Opening Thursday 15 April 20:00 - 22:00 in the presence of the artist.
The Bernier-Eliades Gallery is pleased to present the first solo show in Greece by Keith Sonnier. The exhibition features important works from the period of 1996 - 2008 and includes nine neon-light sculptures and a body of seminal drawings.
Keith Sonnier (born 1941, Louisiana, USA) is renowned as one of the first artists to use light as a form of sculpture in the mid 1960s. He studied at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, LA from 1959 - 63 to receive his M.F.A from Douglas College, Rutgers University in 1966. His practice spans performance, film, video, sculpture, large-scale installation and architectural intervention.
Over the past five decades Sonnier has carved a pioneering and historic path out of the orthodoxies of minimalism in the direction of a process-oriented and interactive mode of art using materials such as cloth, latex, rubber, fabric and screening in a synthesis of architectural components that include extruded metals and plastics. Founder of the self-coined "send/receive" phenomenon as a protagonist in the "New Sculpture" movement of the 60s alongside the likes of Bruce Nauman, Eva Hesse, Barry LeVa and Lynda Benglis, Sonnier has championed an historically distinctive approach of his own to light, color, and transparency. His oeuvre from 1996 - 2008 is critical on account of a renewed interest in studio work and the transmissional aspect of light waves. Sonnier's ongoing fascination with the object of transmission as well as the image transmitted culminates in the use of the tv antenna as an abstract, obsolete symbol - as history itself ever past - in "Baumgate Study I". In this light, the artist describes each of his sculptures as coming out of architecture, and the wall as an architectural support that becomes its housing processing raw data into art. The result is color as light, color as volume, color as line.
Inspiration is drawn from the work of engineers, scientists and designers alike - fuelling a multifaceted investigation that translates into a mode of art rich in sensuality, emotion, and spirituality. From Chinese calligraphy to the detritus of everyday life, from performance art to the mass media, from found objects to specific alloys, Sonnier's sphere of influence is boundless.
As Sabine Vogel writes: "Sonnier's works carry a massive charge of emotion - full of eroticism as in the "Cat Doucet" series. If Sonnier's earlier works were characterised above all by a sensuousness of colour, a quality that presented a sharp contrast with the materials and forms."