Working in performance, video, sculpture, and printmaking, Keith Sonnier became widely recognized in the 1960s for his pioneering use of light in sculpture. Incorporating materials not traditionally associated with fine art into his works— including latex, satin, bamboo, and other found objects—Sonnier began to create sculptural works that challenged the conception of art at the time, and which went on to redefine contemporary sculptural practices. Beginning in 1968, Sonnier began to use neon in his work, which he continues to do to this day. More recently, he has also began working on large-scale projects and commissions that allow him to explore the relationship between light, architectural space, and atmosphere.
Sonnier's work has been exhibited extensively, including solo shows at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Austria's Kunsthaus Bregenz.