Suchitra Mattai

Suchitra Mattai

Suchitra Mattai is a multi-disciplinary artist of Indo-Caribbean descent. She uses a mixed-media approach to explore how memory and myth allow us to unravel and re-imagine historical narratives.  Her primary pursuit is to give voice to people whose voices were once quieted. Using both her own family’s ocean migrations and research on the period of colonial indentured labor during the 19th Century, Suchitra seeks to expand our sense of “history.” Re-writing this colonial history contributes to contemporary dialogue by making visible the struggles and perseverance of those who lived it. She often focuses on the experiences of women and employs practices and materials associated with the domestic sphere such as embroidery, weaving, various fiber elements, etc. Suchitra re-imagines vintage and found materials that have a rich past as a way of creating a dialogue with the original makers and the time periods in which they were once cherished as well as a means of navigating her own personal narrative. She often uses vintage saris as a way of connecting women of the South Asian diaspora from around the world. Thinking about colonization in Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean is a way of tracing her family’s history in Guyana and India and of fostering discussion around contemporary issues surrounding gender and labor.

Suchitra’s process is one of reconciliation. Combining, re-contextualizing, and reconfiguring disparate materials is a way of making sense of the world around her and the multiple cultural spheres that she inhabits as an Indo-Caribbean American. She creates two-dimensional works, installations, and sculptures that allow disparate found objects and hand-made objects to cohabitate, reflecting the multi-dimensionality of culture and community

Suchitra received an MFA in painting and drawing and an MA in South Asian art from the University of Pennsylvania. Her recent projects include a commission for the Sharjah Biennial 14, “State of the Art 2020” at Crystal Bridges Museum, a commission for the MCA Denver, a Denver Art Museum and the Biennial of the Americas jointly sponsored installation and solo exhibitions at the Boise Art Museum and K Contemporary Art. Current and upcoming projects include group exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), MCA Chicago (Chicago), Kavi Gupta Gallery (Chicago), John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Wisconsin), Unit London (London), and Hollis Taggart Gallery (NYC). Her work is in collections that include Crystal Bridges Museum, Jorge Perez, the Denver Art Museum, and the TiA Collection (Santa Fe).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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