Keith Sonnier

Light Works, 1968–70

  • Keith Sonnier. Ba-O- Ba VI, 1970

    Keith Sonnier. Ba-O- Ba VI, 1970. Courtesy of the Artist and Haeusler Contemporary Munich/Zurich. Copyright: Haeusler Contemporary Munich/Zurich. Photograph: Wolfgang Stahl

Past Exhibition

Keith Sonnier: Light Works, 1968–70

10 June – 11 September 2016

Making three-dimensional drawings with neon, American artist Keith Sonnier (b.1941) bathes spaces and bodies in the radiance of coloured light. Coming of age with a group of artists that included Lynda Benglis, Mary Heilmann, Bruce Nauman and Richard Serra, he uses a post-minimalist language that is physically immediate yet associative.

Four major early works made between 1968 and 1970 transform the 19th-century architecture of the gallery, combining neon with other industrial materials like glass, foam rubber and wiring. Geometric form contrasts with dashes of colour and a luminous glow to suggest the syntax of poetry and a nod to Sonnier’s roots in the multi-lingual, Creole culture of Louisiana.


Keith Sonnier: In Conversation

Friday 10 June, 3pm | £9.50/£7.50 concs

American artist Keith Sonnier discusses his sculptures and his pioneering use of neon with Lydia Yee, Whitechapel Gallery Chief Curator. More

Curator’s Tour
Thursday 11 August, 6.30pm | Free, booking required

Assistant Curator Habda Rashid leads a tour of the exhibition Keith Sonnier: Light Works. More

Keith Sonnier - Whitechapel Gallery Limited EditionBuy Limited Editions

Keith Sonnier
CODE BA-O-BA (2016)

Sonnier’s Limited Edition for the Whitechapel Gallery takes as its starting point a drawing study for his iconic series Ba-O-Ba.


Find out more

Read the press release