New York

Keith Sonnier

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

Keith Sonnier’s mastery of neon signals his awareness of our society’s technological destiny—his sense of its destiny being dependent on its means, not its ends. The question in Sonnier’s art is whether these technical means can be made to emblematize a universal goal of transcendence, an almost Buddhist mirage of ultimate meaning. His art depends on the swift mental conversion of object into image into sign into symbol and back into object; it is only the completion of the circle that allows for transcendence. This hermetic completeness, generally coded in bipolar terms, makes his pieces the ideal icons of a consciousness eager to achieve a selfless state. Sonnier has dissected meditation and reconstructed its remains in the terms of modern technology, the skeleton on which our society hangs its flesh; he shows us that technology can also be a cabalistic code for our spirituality.


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