Games People Play

10 January - 24 February 2024

Nathalie Karg Gallery is pleased to inaugurate its new exhibition space at 127 Elizabeth Street in Lower Manhattan with Games People Play, a group show which presents an uncanny connection between the worlds of art and sport—


Colleen Barry, Emma Beatrez, Rachael Bos, Tom Burr, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Nina Childress, Angela Dufresne, Red Grooms, Lyle Ashton Harris, Shaun Krupa, Sean Landers, Mike Lee, Aks Misyuta, Gabriel Orozco, Paul Pfeiffer, Borna Sammak, Augustas Serapinas, Tao Siqi, Ryan Steadman, Jansson Stegner, and Harumi Yamaguchi have all addressed aspects of ritual and rehearsal intrinsic to the heroic existence of the athlete, and of the painter, photographer, or sculptor.


The title of the exhibition references Canadian psychiatrist Eric Berne’s 1964 book of the same name, considered to be one of the first totems of “pop psychology” literature, and cognate to the Human Potential Movement, a contemporaneous thread of mystic belief in extraordinary potential that lies largely untapped in all people. To proponents of the theory, a collective elect of individuals cultivating their own potential emerges, catalyzing positive change in society at-large.


A unique yet often precarious capacity that the body demonstrates at its physical and by Platonic association mental peak has been addressed across the canon, from ancient to contemporary artistic production. Hellenistic sculptures of Agon, the Greek god of contest who held an altar at Olympia, where the Olympic Games took place, cannot escape a link to the word agon, which defines the conflict core to any Greek tragedy. This exhibition centers sports and athleticism as they reflect the human need to rehearse, discover, and explore through the act of creation, a process which can ultimately present dilemmas rich with extreme tragedy, and coexistent joy.