When the sculptor Keith Sonnier arrived in the late 1960s, he was identified with other young radicals like Richard Serra, Eva Hesse, Bruce Nauman and Lynda Benglis as “Post-Minimalist,” a catchall term that immediately wrote them into history books. The label was meant to distinguish them from their slightly older, Minimalist contemporaries, including Sol Lewitt, Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, all of whom used inflexible materials for impersonal, geometric objects manufactured by others.
“Elysian Plain + Early Works,” a buoyant show of his wall-mounted neon works (some new, some vintage) at the Pace Gallery in Chelsea, maps his trajectory from the ephemeral to the durable, a path elevated by the artist’s suggestive wit.
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