Keith Sonnier was born in Louisiana in 1941 and studied at the University of Louisiana. He received his BA in 1963 and travelled to France to spend a year painting. Upon his return to the United States he attended Rutgers University and moved to New York, where he began to make sculpture and installations from found objects that typically included latex and rubber. Sonnier began working with neon light in the late 1960s and three examples of this type of work are held in the National Gallery’s International Painting and Sculpture collection.

At Gemini GEL in 1973, Sonnier made the Video still screen series, video being another of his favoured mediums. The series is comprised of five prints, each of which is a combination of four individual video stills screen–printed onto sheets of transparent polyester film. After printing, the individual film sheets were aligned and mounted on white paper. This layering process recreates the effect of a flickering video still on a television screen.
Emilie Owens
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Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated August 2014