Keith Sonnier American, 1941-2020


He is mentioned in the same breath as Bruce Nauman, James Turrell, Eva Hesse and RIchard Serra: Keith Sonnier (1941 Louisiana, USA - 2020, New York, USA) belongs to a generation of artists who radically changed the common understanding of sculpture in the 1960s and paved the way for a genre that is now called installation art. In 1969, the later Documenta curator Harald Szeemann put together the historic exhibition "When Attitudes Become Form" at the Kunsthalle Bern, where Sonnier presented the imprint of a piece of latex on the wall. It was the birth of a new art form that focused on the processual, the narrative and the sublimation of the momentary: Post-Minimal Art. 

One of the best-known of his series is the adaptive light lines, which he made part of famous facades: the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Munich Airport and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. As for his illumination of the National Gallery in Berlin ("Ba-O-Ba"), Sonnier liked to choose fragments of indigenous languages - a return to natural philosophical and spiritualist practices that breathe a post-minimalist romanticism into his formally minimalist compositions. Sonnier has exhibited in prestigious institutions around the world, including the Center Pompidou in Paris, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. and. His works are not only represented in institutional collections worldwide, but can also still be seen in public places.