NEW ORLEANS---Heriard-Cimino Gallery presents 4 Works: 1968 - 2010 by Keith Sonnier. An Opening Reception will be held on Saturday, October 1st, from 6 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the Art for Arts’ Sake annual celebration. The exhibition will be on view from October 1st through November 25th, 2011. This exhibition is concurrent with the New Orleans Museum of Art’s installation exhibition of Keith Sonnier’s Fluorescent Room in November as part of the NOMA 100: Gifts for the Second Century.
Neon has been a constant material in Sonnier’s sculpture since 1968. In this exhibition, Sonnier’s iconic Neon Wall Slant, 1968 investigates formal, minimal and architectural concerns. Sonnier explores floor to wall relationships, the floor and wall becoming an integral part of the sculpture. Strips of neon tubes, (orange, blue and green) and electrical cords define the structure. In using this media Sonnier is demonstrating that art can be almost anything, made anywhere, and of any material.
Neon Wrapping Incandescent is a lyrical piece, using pink and green neon tubes, intertwined around each other and encircling two incandescent bulbs. The dialogue between incandescent light and neon is an intriguing element of the piece. In taking advantage of the malleability of glass tubing, Sonnier produces an expressive spontaneity, resulting in the impression that color has been drawn onto the wall with a brush of light.
In Opelousas, 1996 (from the Cat Doucet Series), Sonnier steps into more of a pronounced figuration of light and includes in the work, copper mesh, bamboo screen and the odd castaways, such as detergent and bleach bottles. The sculpture transcends the materials, becoming a work of particular sensuality.
The catalyst for Sonnier’s Chandelier Series began with his desire to create his own ceiling fixtures for his home on Long Island. He expanded the idea for neon chandeliers to be used in the home, and later created large-scale chandeliers for public spaces.
Sonnier’s practice spans performance, film, video, sculpture, large-scale installation and international architectural design projects. Sonnier moved to New York City after graduating from Rutgers University and began a long association with Leo Castelli Gallery beginning in 1970. In 1974, the artist received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and in 1975 and 1981 he was awarded NEA grants. Sonnier has been given solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Modern Art; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo); the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris); the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles); and the Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans). Public Commissions include the Neue National Galerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Lichtweg, the 1,000 meter walkway in the new Munich Airport, a permanent outdoor water and light sculpture at Kansas City Int’l Airport, to name a few. He continues to develop his Sac-O-Lait project in Grand Mamou, where he grew up. Keith Sonnier resides and works in New York City.