in New York, NY / United States
05.08.2022 - 03.09.2022 00:00
Plays Well With Others

Freight + Volume proudly presents “Plays Well With Others”, a group exhibition featuring works by Gabrielle Graessle, Mike Swaney, Miles Debas, and Tony Bluestone.

As indicated by the title of the exhibition, “Plays Well With Others” lacks any determinate subject. Any group or person can seemingly occupy this absence, becoming thereby a playful agent. Be this a he, a she, an object, a nation, or an inorganic ghost. Lacking any clear sign to the contrary, “Plays Well With Others” comes to embrace all and none of these things. Instead, the exhibition delineates a notion of subjectless play, a termless game of othering which transforms differences by reabsorbing them.

Play is play; but the work of reabsorbing acculturated symbols is more difficult than it might at first appear. Gabrielle Graessle‘s paintings openly display a kind of hypercathexis where the symbolism of language and the consumer goods that so entrance her combine in terms of a painterly sigil. Similarly, Mike Swaney‘s work focuses on the everyday, the ordinary visions of shop windows and industrial malfunctions that haunt both city and suburb. Graessle and Swaney distill chaos into a short of painterly shimmer, both furtively animate and deadpan, that showcases both the vitality of the subjects which inspire them and the craftsmanship of their respective hands.

Miles Debas‘s work toys with the idea of optimism; but only to repurpose existing pictorial forms toward his own optimistic bemusement. The outsider, “other” feel of his work actually derives from a stark intimacy which few artists are confident enough to display. Meanwhile, the paintings of Tony Bluestone unpack like a cosmic mirror staring into another cosmic mirror. The viewer always seems situated at a place that can only provoke surprise. Events are depicted with a detail that seems to transcribe an ongoing reality beyond the viewer’s gaze. Each artist in the exhibition could be said to engage with the others by way of responding to the sheer strangeness of living alongside the material presence of our world — a kind of strangeness that they assimilate by way of the attitudes evinced in their respective works. Out of the tangle of this confusion a decided clarity emerges… one not dependent on the logic of perception so much as the logic of significance. Across each work, a singular message is spelled out that alludes to the stark reality of unlikely beginnings culminating in the uniqueness of a shimmering, branded moment.

Gallery hours Tue-Sat 11 am – 6 pm

Exhibition Duration 05 August – 03 September 2022


Freight + Volume
39 Lispenard St.
10013 New York, NY
United States


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