JUDITH HOOS FOX, FURNITURE, FURNISHINGS: SUBJECT AND OBJECT, MUSEUM OF ART, RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN, 1984, (A CATALOGUE FOR A TRAVELING EXHIBITION) PP. 9-10
Each of Christopher Sproat’s installations is arranged as a mise en scene (cat. No 18a-f). Frontal in orientation, set against a flat background, Sproat’s crisp, elegant components – chair like forms, apparatuses emitting cool light, photographs, etc. – await the arrival of the troupe of actors. Sproat’s set-like installations are built up of from a vocabulary of singular objects, which have an inception and existence outside of their role in the set. Sproat’s consistent sensibility enables him to arrange endless variations in creating his tableau. The relationship of his work to performance art and theater is formal and allusive rather than actual.
? “We look backward at history and tradition to go forward”. These words, from a book that was lying on the sofa in Ron Fisher’s studio, have meaning for his work, as well as for Christopher Sproat’s and Jim Isermann’s. All three artists create forms that join views of the future with memories of the past. This peculiar iconographic blend has gained wide visibility through such movies as “The Return of the Jedi” where primeval and medieval imagery is fused with that of the twenty-first century. Sproat’s historical sources range from archaic Greek to Art Deco; the syncopated and echoing rhythms in his three-dimensional works and his drawings sometimes appear futuristic, sometimes ancient. Frontal and often bilaterally symmetrical, Sproat’s objects and installations become iconic. They seem to exist within their own time frame, related to both past and future as we usually visualize these abstractions.