Neon Maestro Keith Sonnier Talks Light, Life as New Show Opens in Chelsea: ‘I Sought Out Unusual People’

Andrew Russeth, ARTnews, November 26, 2019


Helen Evans Ramsaran’s current show at Welancora Gallery in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn is a tender, elegiac ode to an environment under siege. Hanging in front of an aquamarine-colored wall are a series of intricate, carved clay sculptures. Some resemble ornamental bowls, while others are wild, spindly abstractions. They are smooth, nuanced, and all white, like pieces of bleached coral reef. They cast bewitching shadows onto the sea behind him.


The title of the exhibition is “12 Years,” the amount of time that the United Nations estimated in 2018 was left to avert catastrophic global warming. This morning it released a report with findings that it described as “bleak”: more cuts are needed—more quick, braving thinking, which one hopes art can help engender. Elsewhere in the show, bronze constructions from the early 1990s radiate some of the freewheeling energy of early David Smith and Richard Hunt, evincing no shortage of ingenuity.

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