Off By Christopher Sproat

Neon is the only common denominator in Christopher Sproat’s dramatic turnabout.   Half a decade ago, Sproat draped glowing neon tubing across metal frames or over walls and ceiling in a formal demonstration of the architectural possibilities of line.   But like many sculptors of his post minimal generation, Sproat is now trying something new – allegory.   His first one-man show in New York is spooky but strong.   A single band of neon circles the gallery walls at about eye level, marking off a “blue horizon”.   Under the line drawn by the neon is an assortment of symbols: black hands, black ladders that end in spikes or feet, tall black and white chairs, and a swimming pool drawn on the wall in blue chalk.   What do they mean?   According to Sproat, they are in the strange furniture of five menacing domestics scenes that represent “man’s thwarted attempts to escape the real to the ideal”.    Perilously pictorial, these neon cartoons resemble nothing on 57th Street.