In Focus: Samantha Modder

In Focus

Samantha Modder

In her recent work Wearer of All Socks, artist Samantha Modder creates space – embracing both real and imagined worlds – in which reside larger-than-life Black, female characters. The heroine in the Morris Museum’s central Court Gallery fairytale mural emerges from the pages of a narrative dressed, the artist notes, “in her nightdress and striped socks in a world of only her and her duplicates.” The ten feet tall protagonist clutches the fabric of a voluminous garment with the right hand, and with the left gestures to unseen companions on their collective journey. 

Modder is a Nigerian-Sri Lankan artist who graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in Studio Art and Engineering (2017) and Washington University in St. Louis with an MFA in Visual Arts (2022). She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at the University of Tampa, where she teaches Graphic Design, Typography, and the History of Graphic Design. 

“Representing the exhibition at the Morris Museum is such an honor,” Modder recently shared, “and I am beyond delighted for all the people who will be introduced to the Wearer of All Socks in this space. I made her with the intention of beckoning an audience into this world I am building.” This series is grounded in the theoretical framework of the Black imaginary, “a centering of Black dreams and fantasies to create alternate spaces of both comfort and confrontation.” 

The Morris Museum thanks Simone Craig, CEO of Art in the Atrium, and her staff for introducing us to the artist and her work. 

In Focus: Samantha Modder is on view in conjunction with ATA’s 32nd annual signature exhibition, W.O.W.: Women’s Outstanding Works, featuring Black and Afro-Latina women artists, curated by Onnie Strother and Bisa Wendy Washington. 

Atrium Gallery, Administration & Records Building, 10 Court Street,
Morristown, NJ 07960
May 17 – September 20, 2024

Image Caption: Samantha Modder, Wearer of All Socks, 2024 (detail). Original work 2022. Digitally manipulated ballpoint pen print on adhesive paper. 125 x 120 inches. On loan from the collection of Samantha Modder. Image used with permission.

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