Keith Sonnier (July 31, 1941 – July 18, 2020) was a postminimalist sculptor, performance artist, video and light artist. Sonnier was one of the first artists to use light in sculpture in the 1960s, and was one of the most successful with this technique. Sonnier was a part of the Process Art movement.
James Keith Sonnier
July 31, 1941
Mamou, Louisiana, U.S.
|Died||July 18, 2020 (aged 78)|
Southampton, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Louisiana at Lafayette,|
|Known for||performance, sculpture|
|Movement||Postminimalism, Process Art|
|Spouse(s)||Jacqueline Winsor (1966–1980, divorce), |
Nessia Leonzini Pope (1987–1998, divorce)
James Keith Sonnier was born July 31, 1941 in Mamou, Louisiana. His family was Cajun and Roman Catholic, his father was a hardware store owner, Joseph Sonnier, and his mother was a florist and singer, Mae Ledoux.
He graduated in 1963 from Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). In 1966, he graduated with his MFA degree from Rutgers University, where he studied under Allan Kaprow, Robert Watts, and Robert Morris. After graduation from Rutgers, he moved to New York City with his some of his former classmates and his wife Jackie.
Sonnier began experimenting with neon in 1968. Neon lights later became a signature material used in his sculptural works. The common materials Sonnier employed included neon and fluorescent lights; reflective materials; aluminum and copper; and glass and wires.
- Kennedy, Randy (2020-07-23). "Keith Sonnier, Playful Sculptor in Neon, Dies at 78". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- Sussler, Betsy (April 1, 1982). "Aesthesipol: Keith Sonnier by Betsy Sussler". BOMB Magazine. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- Brown, Kate (July 20, 2020). "Sculptor Keith Sonnier, America's Experimental Poet of Light and Neon, Has Died at Age 78". Artnet.
- Blagg, Max (May 2012). "Keith Sonnier". Interview. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
- King, Elaine A. (April 30, 2019). "Dispatch: Keith Sonnier". Sculpture (magazine).
- "Keith Sonnier in New York, New York, U.S., Marriage License Indexes, 1907-2018". Ancestry.com. Index to Marriages, New York City Clerk's Office, New York City, New York State. 1987.
License Number: 26140