PRINT May 1972

Keith Sonnier: Video and Film as Color-Field

THE CURRENT FILMS AND VIDEO work in Keith Sonnier’s development require discussion because they correspond to an idiosyncratic and discursive attitude towards color and light in the context of video-technology—“idiosyncratic” since the work is couched in such painterly terms. As film and videotape experience, Sonnier’s video works have apparently little mental substance; they effect us as near-mindless transpositions of sheer color sensibility and luminous ambience and, as such, fall readily into the artist’s stylistic evolution as well as into a clear relationship to the postulates of color painting of the late 1960s.

To understand this development, we must go back to 1968 when large, prefabricated pieces of glass in circular and square shapes appeared to be casually introduced into Sonnier’s sculptural/pictorial vocabulary. Shortly thereafter these prefabricated elements were conjoined

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