NANCY PRINCENTHAL, ART NEWS, SEPTEMBER 1983, PP. 194, 198.
Without being figurative, sculpture can exert a human presence simply by virtue of its scale, weight and spatial thrust. This fundamental option for work in three dimensions has been neglected for so long that its recent conspicuous reemergence has the force of a revelation. The collective vitality in this group exhibition of mostly new works by Ursula Von Rydingsvard, Steve Wood, James Ford, John Duff, Christopher Sproat and Nancy Grossman supports the prediction of art-world observers that sculpture was bound to upstage painting sometime soon.
“Vitality” is a word used here advisedly. The quiet animation of almost all the work gives it a character quite distinct from the melding of matter and spirit attempted by environmental and process artists.
in Sproat’s Vortex, Two graceful strokes of red neon articulate the soaring black presence of Sproat’s work, which presides over the gallery space like an angel of death. The coolest piece of engineering here, Vortex nevertheless shares with the other work shown the ability to suggest a figure without illustrating it.