Tag Archive | Portals

Keith Sonnier, Portals at Maccarone Gallery

Circle Portal A
Circle Portal A By Keith Sonnier (All Photos By Gail)

Maccarone Gallery is currently hosting Portals, 14 new wall-mounted neon sculptures by artist Keith Sonnier. Sonnier’s by-now iconic work is emblematic of a generation of artists who sought to liberate the artistic encounter from the formal constraints of Modernism to produce a sensory and emotional experience that also extended beyond the Spartan affect of Minimalism. The category of post-Minimalism, however, does not adequately describe both the unique wit and visceral impact that Sonnier’s work displays.

Gothic Portal
Gothic Portal

In his latest series, Sonnier  take the orphic allegory of the portal and explores its many different historical manifestations. Whether the portal serves as an entrance or an exit, the plane itself is a threshold — a doorway that contains both birth and termination. Taking this metaphor to its logical end, the works in Portals can be thought of as doorways to various different periods in human design — whether it be the neoclassical extension of a line into space or Romanesque arcading, each work is a luminous referent to specific architectural pathways.

Palermo Portal
Palermo Portal

The artist also displays a perversely delightful humor with the libidinous allegory of the portal as human orifice. Neon phallic protrusions punctuate the joints of these architectural gates, playing at the double-entendre embedded in the show’s title. Sonnier challenges the two-dimensionality of neon sculpture through twisting spatial arcs and juts that demand that the viewer change his or her own perspective to deduce what components of the work are exiting or entering. This tension between penetration and accommodation gives each work a wry corporeal undertone that is simultaneously abstracted by architectural allusions. Sonnier evokes art, the body, and architectural history in this polysemous suite of neon works.

Palermo Portal Detail
Palermo Portal Detail

Here are a few of out favorite pieces from this fun show!

Wall Portal B
Wall Portal B

Installation View

Gallery View from the Opening Reception!

Wall Extension B
Foreground: Wall Extension B. Background: Helmut Portal

Gros Bec
Gros Bec

Above and below are, I think studies for Sonneir’s sculptures.

Dough Boy A and Wink
Dough Boy A and Wink

Portal Nave
Portal Nave

Circle Portal B
Circle Portal B

Portals by Keith Sonnier will be on Exhibit Through December 19th, 2015 at Maccarone Gallery, Located at 630 Greenwich Street, NYC 10014.

Syracusa Portal
Syracusa Portal

Keith Sonnier Portals Poster

Advertisements