Keith Sonnier: Light Works

June 12th – November 29th 2015 MAMAC, Nizza

During the summer of 2015, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Nice (MAMAC) will present an exhibition of the American artist Keith Sonnier.

Keith Sonnier, "The Collection". © Wolfgang Stahl
Keith Sonnier, "The Collection". © Wolfgang Stahl
Keith Sonnier: Light Works © Wolfgang Stahl
© Wolfgang Stahl

Born in 1941 in Louisiana, Keith Sonnier is now internationally recognized for his works of light. He begins his career in the middle of the 1960s and early employs neon. His contemporaries are Carl Andre, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt. He shares with them the will of an anti-illusionistic sculpture and set himself up against the cold minimal sculptures. Keith Sonnier primarily uses soft materials (fabrics, ribbons, net curtains and metal gates) and creates neon curved forms inspired by his native land. His works turned out straightaway, more narrative and evocative than those of his contemporaries. His sculptures, always cheerful, ethereal and moving, escape from the frame to explore the light effects on materials and space.

His work has been the subject of many exhibitions in France and abroad in particular the recent exhibitions "When Attitudes Become Form" at the Prada Foundation in Venice, "Dynamo" at the Grand-Palais in Paris and "Neon – Who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue ?" at la Maison Rouge (Paris) and at the MACRO (Rome).

The exhibition will gather, on 1 500 m², almost fifty works of light by the artist from the 1960s to today. The light will be the main focus of this route, designed as a true wandering. A work celebrating the Promenade des Anglais is specially created by the artist. This command is part of the event "PromenadeS" coordinated by Mr.Jean-Jacques Aillagon, former Minister of Culture and Communication.

Keith Sonnier, "Ba-O-Ba Circle Diptych", 1996/1999. © Wolfgang Stahl

Keith Sonnier, "Ba-O-Ba Circle Diptych", 1996/1999. © Wolfgang Stahl

Keith Sonnier, "Ba-O-Ba Circle Diptych", 1996/1999. © Wolfgang Stahl

Keith Sonnier, "Ba-O-Ba Circle Diptych", 1996/1999. © Wolfgang Stahl

Recently Zumtobel had the chance to interview Sonnier on working with light: