May 11 – August 25, 2024

Suchitra Mattai: We are nomads, we are dreamers

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On View May 11 – August 25, 2024

Celebrate with us at the Garden Party!
June 12 | 6-8pm
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We are nomads, we are dreamers is a solo exhibition of newly commissioned works by Suchitra Mattai that celebrates the migratory oceanic journeys of past, present, and future diasporic communities. Inspired by the Park’s position along the East River, which flows into the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, this exhibition features a series of soft sculptures made from vintage saris collected from women of the South Asian diaspora. The exhibition’s title reflects upon transatlantic migration experiences, including Mattai’s ancestors who traveled from India to British Guiana (now Guyana) as indentured laborers in the early twentieth century, as well as the artist’s own personal migrations.

At the center of the Park, six futuristic pods, reminiscent of continental forms, emerge from the landscape, reflecting the dynamic interplay of the shifting sky and ecology. Draped in vibrantly colored saris, meticulously hand-woven together, these monumental forms transcend static existence, subtly evolving and adapting within their waterfront ecosystem. Here, new living beings and elements like sun, rain, and wind interact with the textiles, enriching the pre-existing lives embedded in the saris, which carry the memories of the women who wore them. These artifacts from the future serve as an ever-evolving testament to the human experience of migration and adaptation—a monument to the journey of becoming. 

Nearby, a series of seven hanging sculptures adorn the grove of trees, reflecting on notions of femininity and fertility. Additionally, at the south entrance of the Park, the Broadway Billboard features a thirty-foot collage by Mattai. Organized in collaboration with Barkha Dance Company, dance performances will activate the exhibition on June 12, July 18, and August 25.

We are nomads, we are dreamers is organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and curated by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, Curator & Director of Exhibitions.

Exhibition-related Events

Dance Performance Events
Presented in collaboration with Barkha Dance Company

Garden Party 
June 12, 2024  |  6-8PM

Solo and Ensemble 
July 18, 2024  |  7PM

Closing Celebration 
August 25, 2024  |  2-4PM 

Events are free, no reservations required.

Press

June 7, 2024. Haber’s Art Reviews “The Seeds of New York- Summer Sculpture 2024

May 17, 2024, All Of It, WNYC “An Immersive Textile Installation in Socrates Sculpture Park

May 10, 2024. GothamToGo “Suchitra Mattai: We are nomads, we are dreamers at Socrates Sculpture Park”

May 6, 2024. Curbed, New York Magazine “A Cobalt-Blue Jazz Bar, Monumental Sari Sculptures, and Other May Design-Month News

May 1, 2024. untapped new york ” Must-see Public Art Installations in NYC, May 2024

April 19, 2024. Queens Scene “2024 at Socrates

April 11, 2024. Queens Courier “Art as diverse as those who view it

Biography

Suchitra Mattai (b.1973 Georgetown, Guyana) is a multi-disciplinary artist of Indo-Caribbean descent. Suchitra received an MFA in painting and drawing and an MA in South Asian art from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Past projects include group exhibitions at the MCA Chicago, Crystal Bridges Museum, the Sharjah Biennial, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Tampa Museum of Art, the MCA Denver, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and solo exhibitions at the Boise Museum of Art and Kavi Gupta Gallery. Upcoming projects include solo exhibitions at the ICA San Francisco and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Her works are represented in collections which include Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Shah Garg Collection, the Jorge Perez Collection, the Tia Collection and the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Suchitra is also a recipient of a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.

https://suchitramattaiart.com/

Images: ‘becoming,’ ‘phala,’ and ‘pocket full of posies’ by Suchitra Mattai, 2024. Photo: Scott Lynch, Suchitra Mattai with works in progress for Suchitra Mattai: We are nomads, we are dreamers, 2024. Detail Image. Photo: Anna Maria Zunino Noellert.

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Support

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the New York City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts.