Keith Sonnier

5 January to 23 February 2013
541 West 24 Street


On 5 January 2013, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Chelsea location an exhibition of works from 1968 to 1970 by KEITH SONNIER.

“I think we were amazed that what we were making would even be bought. Our type of work was somehow counter-culture. We chose materials that were not “high art”; we weren’t working in bronze, or paint, even. We were using materials that weren’t previously considered art materials. They were deliberately chosen to psychologically evoke certain kinds of feelings.”
– Keith Sonnier

This exhibition of early works includes examples from Sonnier’s seminal and internationally acclaimed Ba-O-Ba and Neon Wrapping Incandescent Series. These works were designed in Sonnier’s first New York studio to make use of the floor to wall relationship as well as utilize the reflective environment that working with neon and glass naturally creates. Sonnier’s early site specific Ba-O-Ba installations provided sets for performers and thus the first video work was conceived and recorded in the studio in Chinatown.

Sonnier investigated many types of glass shapes and surfaces as well as a variety of neon and argon colors and configurations. Eventually extruded materials were added and this early Ba-O-Ba Series became the foundation upon which Sonnier based many of his subsequent architectural and environmental installations.

The organic free form of the neon lines in the Neon Wrapping Incandescent Series relate very much to drawing and provide a perfect contrast to the strictly geometric shapes of the Ba-O-Ba works. Sonnier’s focus here is on the experimentation between different light sources and levels, and the energetic quality of the electrical current running through the sculptures.

The exhibition, at 541 West 24 Street, will run through 23 February 2013. For further assistance, please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery, or visit our website