new-york

Keith Sonnier, Ju-Ju, 1970, cheesecloth, black lights, glass, 7' 4“ × 12' 6” × 1' 4". © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

Keith Sonnier

Castelli Gallery

Keith Sonnier, Ju-Ju, 1970, cheesecloth, black lights, glass, 7' 4“ × 12' 6” × 1' 4". © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

A bit of backstory is in order. Leo Castelli’s response to post-Minimalism (notably, to the work of Richard Serra) was to arrange for exhibitions of the new style in a former art shipper’s warehouse located in west Harlem. The raw, garage-like space of Hague Movers perfectly accommodated the vastly expanded scale and the light-infused and propulsively distributed forms of the new dispensation.

Robert Morris is particularly germane to the present exhibition of Keith Sonnier’s early work; Morris inaugurated the “alternative” Castelli Warehouse space in December 1968, as curator of the exhibition “9 at Leo Castelli,” a show that featured the work of Sonnier. This led to Sonnier’s first one-person exhibition, held in that same brutal space in 1970. As a theoretician of anti-form and one of Sonnier’s professorial mentors at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Morris certainly

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