‘Suchitra Mattei: We Are Nomads, We Are Dreamers’ at Socrates Sculpture Park




Suchitra Mattei with artwork for the exhibition ‘We are nomads, we are dreamers’. Image by Anna Maria Zunino Noellert. Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park, established in 1986 in Queens as a collaborative effort between artists and community members, is thrilled to announce the artists participating in its 2024 season. This year the platform for artists at Socrates has been reimagined by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, Director of Exhibitions and Curator, to challenge traditional notions of public art. Themes of migration, mapping, ecology, identity, and materiality—including textiles and plants—are all present in the work on view along the East River waterfront Park this year.

The 2024 summer exhibition is an immersive installation by internationally acclaimed, Indo-Guayanese and LA-based artist Suchitra Mattai. Drawing upon themes of identity, migration, and memory, the exhibition Suchitra Mattai: We are nomads, we are dreamers invites viewers to explore the intersections of cultural and personal histories through sculptured textiles, most notably heirloom, vintage saris. Her thought-provoking installations will transform the landscape of Socrates Sculpture Park, offering visitors a profound and immersive artistic experience coupled with dance performances. The exhibition is on view Saturday, May 11 – Sunday, August 25, 2024.

Detail image for the exhibition ‘We are nomads, we are dreamers’ Image by Anna Maria Zunino Noellert. Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

“Suchitra Mattai’s work embodies the spirit of experimentation, innovation, and exploration that defines our park,” said Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park. “I’m excited to welcome Suchitra’s thrilling vision to Socrates this summer, where it will hopefully serve as a metaphorical bridge connecting the East River to the diverse diasporic communities of Astoria, offering them a space for creative refuge and respite along the water’s edge.”

Socrates will open its fall exhibition The Socrates Annual 2024 on September 14th.  The theme for this exhibition featuring early career artists is ‘Invasive Species’ and embodies Garcia-Maestas’ commitment to expanding the tradition of outdoor sculpture towards a richer inclusivity of decolonial perspectives and materials while also addressing urgent environmental challenges. Through this theme, artists Kimberly Chou Tsun An, Jill Cohen-Nuñez, Utsa Hazarika, Landon Newton, Mamoun Nukumanu, Juan-Manuel Pinzon, Vick Quezada, Petra Szilagyi, and Nala C. Turner will explore the parallels between the plight of invasive species and the human experience of migration, shedding light on stories often left untold. The show will run until April 6, 2025.

In addition to its innovative art exhibitions, Socrates will continue its commitment to free public programming with offerings for all ages, across multiple disciplines. Returning partners in the roster of events include Fortune Society’s Creative Arts Program, The Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Recital Series, and Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Nueva York’s Annual Guelaguetza. Social-justice circus theater Circus Amok! will also return to the Park with fun for the whole family.

“I’m excited to kick-off this new season with our groundbreaking collaboration with Suchitra Mattai, a re-imagined platform for our Socrates Artist Fellows and the return of our critical, ongoing partnerships with beloved local arts and community organizations.” said Katie Dixon, Executive Director at Socrates Sculpture Park.

Detail image for the exhibition ‘We are nomads, we are dreamers’ Image by Anna Maria Zunino Noellert. Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

About the Artist ~ 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 Centerand solo exhibitionsat the Boise Museum of Artand 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, theTampa Museum of Art, the Shah Garg Collection, the Jorge Perez Collection, the Tia Collection and theUniversity of Michigan Museum of Art. Suchitra is also a recipient of aSmithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.

Suchitra Mattei: We Are Nomads, We are Dreamers will be on view from May 11 to August 25, 2024 at Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY. Socrates Sculpture Park is open 365 days a year, from 9am to sunset. Admission is always free.

A Garden Party will be held on June 12th from 6-8pm; A Solo and Ensemble will be held on July 18th at 7pm; A Closing Celebration will be held on August 25th from 2-4pm. All events are free. No reservations required.

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Take a look at ‘Suchitra Mattei: Herself as Another’ in 2022 at Hollis Taggart Gallery.

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