Freight+Volume is excited to announce Waking Dream, a group exhibition of work by Angela Dufresne, Elizabeth Huey, Lauren Luloff, Erika Ranee, and Lisa Sanditz. Encompassing a wide variety of artistic approaches, the works on display explore the physical qualities of paint and its infinite formal and expressive potential, across both figuration and abstraction. Waking Dream focuses on the exterior and interior psychological landscape, filtered through the lens of escapism and refuge, offering an alternative, fantastical vision of reality.Lauren Luloff and Erika Ranee’s works manifest formal correspondences with psychological states, with Luloff recalling feelings of inner calm and harmony with nature, and Ranee highlighting the stimuli that provide fleeting sparks of fantasy and imaginative interactions with our surroundings. On the other hand, Lisa Sanditz and Elizabeth Huey craft strange, off-kilter dreamscapes that function as a sort of psychological playpen, unfurling twisting, layered vistas that blur the line between reality and fantasy, and push the limits of escapism. Indulgence in one’s interior mental states is encouraged by their work, and this affirming attitude allows the viewer to ease their impulsive defense mechanisms. Angela Dufresne’s work reflects a more extreme interrogation of interior psychological expression, centered around sexuality and the often complex anxieties that inevitably accompany it.

Angela Dufresne frames the body as a lightning rod for psycho-sexual tension, probing the complex interrelationships of sexuality with concepts of morality, religion, and paranoia. In Kiss The Cunt of God, a threatening female figure with exposed genitalia confronts the viewer directly, flanked by a menagerie of animal carcasses. Fueled by the intersections of sexuality and the darker, suppressed elements of the psyche, the painting addresses the unspoken drives that we would rather remain sheathed in silence.

Characterized by impasto brushwork and a hyper-saturated palette, Elizabeth Huey’s paintings hone in on the dynamic interpersonal relationships, empathy, and human connection, often situated within fantastical, surreal dreamworlds that oddly parallel reality. Huey’s work beckons the viewer to indulge in escapism and sonder; interestingly, there are seldom elements of voyeurism in her work, with a sense of welcoming invitation prevailing. For example, though One’s Own Masquerade presents an orgiastic scene replete with tokens of blasphemy and sexual depravity, it projects a jovial, carnival-like atmosphere. In her other works on display, Huey depicts similarly enticing and imaginative psychological playgrounds.

Lauren Luloff’s effervescent, luminous works on dyed silk highlight calming, tranquil notes of the natural world; in Provincetown, Bright Trees, cascading tiers of flowers and branches laid in bleeding washes of dye create an impression of profound serenity and oneness with a universal current. Luloff’s other works on dyed silk depict natural scenes with a similar delicacy, also allowing the dye to bleed freely onto the borders of the silk support, imbuing the works with an organic wholeness.

Erika Ranee’s paintings incorporate a dazzling range of mark-making techniques; expressive brushwork, modified paint, and unconventional materials such as shellac and spray paint culminate in a highly visceral and materially complex surface structure. Ranee’s textures are strikingly contemporary, and immediately allude to our daily interactions with our built and material environment, reduced to their sensory gestalt. In many ways, her abstractions appear to refract the vast influx of material stimuli that bombards the individual in modern society.

Lisa Sanditz presents a new shift in her oeuvre, from “connecting outward to inner, in location and self”. Catalyzed by a desire “to paint something different and to consolidate my personal life into a very intimate domestic world”, Sanditz’s paintings in Waking Dream traverse an array of domestic environments, from the “mancave” to more intimate (and perhaps voyeuristic) bedroom and bathroom scenes. In A Possible Christmas Dinner and Suburban Basement Snakes 2, she suffused stereotypical suburban imagery with a menacing tenor. In the former, the faces of the family members are smudged and obscured, and a body lays under the dining room; meanwhile, in the latter, the subject has a riddling and seemingly incongruous collection of snakes. By framing the structures of domestic life as environs rife with psychological energy, Sanditz queries the viewer to interrogate their relationships with their own abodes, particularly the ways in which they channel certain psychological states.