los-angeles

Keith Sonnier

ACE Gallery

It is difficult to label Keith Sonnier’s newest piece accurately, it is difficult to appreciate its sense correctly, and it is difficult to find the exact reasons why it is so good. “Sculpture,” “environment,” “video projection” and “installation” have all been used with partial accuracy; I opt for “installation” because it’s a concise new/old word, and given the unusual synthesis of the work, an apt one. (The rarity of a fair and inclusive generic label is frustrating not out of a sinister desire to pigeonhole art, but because it tangles further thought about it.) As for the quality of Sonnier’s installation, I start with the unshakable feeling it gives, prior to any reasoning about it; in fact, I came away with some of that tingle signaling (for me) confrontation with a masterpiece. The record includes this maudlin stuff simply because it almost never happens (to me) these days; what

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.