New York, b.1964

Rania Matar

Rania Matar was Bborn in Lebanon, and moved to the United States in 1984.

Rania Matar’s photography is informed by her cultural background, cross-cultural experience, personal narrative and her experience as a Lebanese-born American woman and mother. Working in both the United States where she lives and the Middle East where she is from, she explores issues of personal and collective identity. Her photographs of female adolescence and womanhood set out to focus on identity and individuality, while simultaneously depicting a universal experience.

Widely published and exhibited, her work has been shown worldwide at institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. A retrospective solo exhibition of her mid-career work, In Her Image: Photographs by...

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Biography

Rania Matar was Bborn in Lebanon, and moved to the United States in 1984.

Rania Matar’s photography is informed by her cultural background, cross-cultural experience, personal narrative and her experience as a Lebanese-born American woman and mother. Working in both the United States where she lives and the Middle East where she is from, she explores issues of personal and collective identity. Her photographs of female adolescence and womanhood set out to focus on identity and individuality, while simultaneously depicting a universal experience.

Widely published and exhibited, her work has been shown worldwide at institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. A retrospective solo exhibition of her mid-career work, In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar, was recently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

Some of the grants she has received include the 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2017 Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant at the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 2011 and the 2007 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowship.

She has published three books, L’Enfant Femme (2016), A Girl and Her Room (2012), and Ordinary Lives (2009).

Artworks

9

Charlotte at 15, 2012

Related Categories

21st Century Art / American Art / Art of the 2010s / Autobiographical Approach / Blurring Boundaries / Contemporary American Art / Cross-Cultural Experience / Diaspora/Migration / Face/Body (Human Figures) / Learning from Different Cultures / Lebanon / Photography / Portrait Photography / United States / Women Artists

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • American University of Beirut

  • Cornell University

  • New England School of Photography

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2021

    In Her Image, solo exhibition, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Orlando, FL

  • 2020

    SHE, American University of Beirut Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

  • 2019

    In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar, The Cleveland Museum of Art at the Transformer Station, Cleveland, OH

Group Exhibitions

  • 2020

    Just Kids, curated by Casey RileyHarrison, Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN

  • CENTER Compe ition Winners Exhibition, Pictura Gallery at FAR Center for Contemporary Arts, Bloomington, IN

  • 2019

    Live Dangerously, curated by Kathryn Wat, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • American University of Beirut

  • Cornell University

  • New England School of Photography

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2021

    In Her Image, solo exhibition, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Orlando, FL

  • 2020

    SHE, American University of Beirut Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

  • 2019

    In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar, The Cleveland Museum of Art at the Transformer Station, Cleveland, OH

  • SHE, Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts

  • Invisible Children, Galerie Tanit, Munich, Germany

  • A Girl and Her Room, Governor’s Academy Gallery, Newbury, Massachusetts

  • 2018

    In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar, curated by Joy Kim, The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX

  • A Girl and Her Room, solo exhibition, Newport Art Museum, Newport, Rhode Island

  • Da Donna a Donna: Crescendo, ce Contemporary, Milan, Italy

  • SHE, Galerie Tanit, Beirut, Lebanon

  • Invisible Children, Michael Horbach Stiftung Gallery, Cologne, Germany

  • A Selection of Photographs: Rania Matar, Landskrona Photo Festival, Sweden

  • 2017

    Becoming: Girls, Women and Coming of Age, RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco, CA

  • L’Enfant-Femme and Invisible Children, Galerie Eulenspiegel, Basel, Switzerland

  • 2016

    Becoming: Girls, Women and Coming of Age, Pictura Gallery, Bloomington, IN

  • Deux Univers: Filles et Femmes, Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut Lebanon

  • Invisible Children, C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, MD

  • Becoming: Girls, Women and Coming of Age, EastWing Gallery, Dubai, UAE

  • 2015

    A Girl and Her Room, Galerie Eulenspiegel, Basel, Switzerland

  • 2014

    Ordinary Lives: Women of the Middle, Toot Yung Art Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand

  • Ordinary Lives, East Arab-American National Museum, Dearborn, MI

  • Ordinary Lives: Women of the Middle East, Alliance Française, Singapore

  • 2013

    L'Enfant-Femme, Carroll and Sons Art Gallery, Boston, MA

  • A Girl and Her Room, Galerie Lichtblick, Cologne, Germany

  • Ordinary Lives: Women of the Middle East, Sana Gallery, Singapore

  • 2012

    A Girl and Her Room, SouthEast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL

  • A Girl and Her Room, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR

  • Girls In Between: Portraits of Identity, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA

  • A Girl and Her Room, Leica Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

  • A Girl and Her Room, Umbrage Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

  • A Girl and Her Room, Leica Headquarters Gallery, Solms, Germany

  • A Girl and Her Room, Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut, Lebanon

  • A Girl and Her Room, The Foster Gallery, Noble and Greenough School, Dedham, MA

  • 2011

    A Girl and Her Room, Mosaic Rooms at the A.M Qattan Foundation, London, UK

  • A Girl and Her Room, De Santos Gallery, Houston, TX

  • Just a Girl?, Boston Art Academy Gallery, Boston, MA

  • 2010

    A Girl and Her Room, Gallery of Photography B&B, Bielsko-Biala, Poland

  • A Girl and Her Room, Gallery Kayafas Boston, MA

  • 2009

    The Institute of Contemporary Art, ICA Boston, MA: Ordinary Lives, curated by Carole-Anne Meehan, for the James and Audrey Foster Prize Ordinary Lives, Mt Ida College Art Gallery, Chestnut Hill, MA

  • Ordinary Lives, MANEGE, St. Petersburg, Russia

  • Ordinary Lives, The Mosaic Rooms at the A.M Qattan Foundation, London, UK

  • Ordinary Lives, St Botolph Club, Boston, MA

  • 2006

    Women of Islam in the Aftermath of War, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL (2006-2008)

  • Lebanon at the Crossroads, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (2006-2008)

  • Lebanon at the Crossroads, Gallery Kayafas, Boston, MA (2006-2008)

  • Forgotten People and Aftermath of War, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR (2006-2008)

  • The Veil, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA (2006-2008)

  • The Veil, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge MA (2006-2008)

Group Exhibitions

  • 2020

    Just Kids, curated by Casey RileyHarrison, Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN

  • CENTER Compe ition Winners Exhibition, Pictura Gallery at FAR Center for Contemporary Arts, Bloomington, IN

  • 2019

    Live Dangerously, curated by Kathryn Wat, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC

  • The Female Lens, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York, USA

  • Contemporary Muslim Fashions, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany

  • She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC

  • Recent Acquisitions by Contemporary Artists, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Bloomington, IN

  • Taswir - Contemporary Arab Photography, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo Brazil

  • Presence of Being, Laconia Gallery, Boston MA

  • 2018

    Contemporary Muslim Fashions, de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

  • The Art of Parenthood, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA

  • Féminités Plurielles, Galerie Tanit, Beirut, Lebanon

  • Instantanés d’Orient, Fondation Boghossian – Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium

  • Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and The Middle East, curated by Carol McCusker, (exhibition catalogue), John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

  • She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers From Iran and the Arab World (exhibition catalogue), Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

  • The Future of America, Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth, Georgia

  • ‘I AM’, exhibition opened at the National Gallery of Fine Arts, Jordan and has been traveling to several venues in the UK and USA, through 2018 (exhibition catalogue)

  • 2017

    Invisible Children, curated by Guillaume de Sardes (exhibition catalogue), PhotoMed Lebanon Biennale des Photographes du Monde Arabe Contemporain, curated by Gabriel Bauret (exhibition catalogue)

  • Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris

  • Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and The Middle East, curated by Carol McCusker (exhibition catalogue), The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, Gambier, OH

  • 2016

    She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and The Arab World, curated by Kristen Gresh (exhibition catalogue), National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC

  • Aftermath: Fallout of War – America and The Middle East, Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL

  • Mortal Things: Portraits Look Back and Forth, curated by Amy Schlegel, Tufts University Art Gallery at the Aidekman Arts Center, Medford, MA

  • Menschenskinder. Children’s Worlds Between Desire and Reality, curated by Dr. Susanne Blöcker (exhibition catalogue), ARP Museum, Germany

  • 2015

    Exposure: Gordon Parks and Rania Matar, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

  • Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (exhibition catalog), National Portrait Gallery, London

  • She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and The rab World, curated by Kristen Gresh (exhibition catalog), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

  • She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and The Arab World, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, San Francisco, CA

  • 2014

    Deserted Spaces and Ordinary Lives, curated by Kinzelman Art, Fotofest 2014, Houston, TX

  • The Middle East Revealed: A Female Perspective, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, NY

  • Breaking Ground: Contemporary Photography, curated by Eliot Dudik (exhibition catalogue), Andrews Gallery, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

  • A Source of Identity: Contrasting Personal Environments, curated by Audrey Pepper (exhibition catalogue), McIninch Art Gallery, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH

  • Bridge to Palestine, curated by Mark Hachem (exhibition catalogue), Beirut Exhibition Center, Lebanon

  • Outspoken: Six Women Photographers, curated by Margaret Kauffman, Nesto Gallery, Milton Academy

  • The Other and Me, curated by Colin Reaney (exhibition catalogue),Sharjah Art Museum, UAE

  • Contemporary Women Photographers, curated by Tina Schelhorn, Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi, Georgia

  • 2013

    She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and The Arab World, curated by Kristen Gresh (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

  • Hey Alter…! curated by Sybille Kastner, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

  • Women Collectors, Women Artists, curated by Marcelle Joseph, Lloyds Club, London, UK

  • 2012

    Women Photographers from the Middle East, curated by Hester Keijser, The Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubai: Women on the Verge

  • Fotokina: A Girl and Her Room, curated by Angela Rupprecht, UNICEF Photo of the Year Award

  • Fotografia 2012: International Photography Festival of Rome Book Exhibition, curated by Douglas Stockdale, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy

  • 2011

    Rebirth, co-curated by Janine Maamari and Danièle Giraudy, Conservateur Général des Musées de France (exhibition catalog), Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, Lebanon

  • Portraits of Teenagers, curated by Bevin Dubrowski, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX

  • ICA 75th Anniversary Exhibition: 75 Artists for 75 Years, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

  • XXI: Conflicts in a New Century, curated by Charles Dee Mitchell and Cynthia Mulcahy, Oak Cliff Cultural Center, Dallas TX

  • Winner Legacy Award, curated by Debra Klomp, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

  • Photo National 2011: A Survey of Contemporary Photography, co-curated by Brian Clamp and George Kinghorn, University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, ME

  • Off the Wall, First Prize Winner, by Susan Stoops, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA

  • Motherland: Place Where I Belong, curated by Marc Prust, Festival Internazionale di Roma, Italy

  • 2010

    In-Between, with Natan Dvir, Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL

  • I-95 Triennial Invitational Exhibition, University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, ME

  • International Art of the Lebanese Diaspora, winners exhibition, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut

  • Beyond Place: Recent Photography Acquisitions, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

  • 2009

    Selec Contemporary Photography, Spagnuolo Gallery, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

  • Three Concerned Women, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

  • New England Photographer’s Biennial, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA

  • The Pursuit of Happiness, curated by Wim Melis, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Netherlands

  • 2006

    Contrapuntal Lines: A Tribute to Edward Said, curated by Amy Schlegel and Rhonda Saad, Koppelman Gallery, Aidekman Arts Center, Tufts University, Medford, MA (2006-2008)

  • The Veil: Modesty, Fashion, Devotion or Statement ,Council for Foreign Relations, New York, NY (2006-2008)

  • Photographs of Children from the Collection, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (2006-2008)

  • MCC Grant Recipients Exhibition,Trustman Art Gallery, Simmons College, Boston, MA (2006-2008)

  • MCC Grant Recipients Exhibition, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA (2006-2008)

  • 25 Anniversary Exhibition, by invitation, curated by Anne Tucker, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX (2006-2008)

  • New England Photographer’s Biennial, Purchase Prize, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA (2006-2008)

  • Moving Walls International, Open Society Institute , Espace SD, Beirut, Lebanon (2006-2008)

  • 9th International Photography Gathering, Le Pont Gallery, Aleppo, Syria (2006-2008)

  • Secunda Bienal Argentina de Fotografia Documental ,Museo de Bellas Artes, Argentina (2006-2008)

Grants/Awards

  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2018

  • CENTER 2019 Editor's Choice Award 1st Place Recipient, selected by MaryAnne Golon, Director of Photography, The Washington Post

  • Finalist BNL, BNP, Paribas Group Award, MIA Photo Fair, 2019

  • Nomination Infinity Award 2019, International Center for Photography

  • Mellon Foundation Artist-in-Residence Grant, The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, Spring 2017

  • Selected by ArtNet one of 10 Remarkable Photographers to Discover at 2017 AIPAD Fair Nomination to the Yield Purchase Award at the Snite Museum of Art, 2017

  • Nomination to Anonymous Was a Woman Award (AWAW), 2017, 2013

  • Unspoken Conversations: Mothers and Daughters, Lens Culture Portrait Award finalist 2015 Nomination to the St Botolph Distinguished Artist Award, 2015

  • Top 50 Winner, Critical Mass, Photolucida 2015 (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

  • The George Gund Foundation Annual Report 2011 Commission Award

Collections

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston TX

  • The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth TX

  • The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland OH

  • Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham MA

  • Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley MA

  • DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln MA

  • Eskenazi Museum of Art, Bloomington IN

  • Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg MA

  • The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, Gambier OH

Publications

  • L’Enfant-Femme, 2016, Damiani, with essays by Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Kristen Gresh, Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Author Lois Lowry, selected Best Book of 2016 by Photo District News, Foto Infinitum and Christian Science Monitor.

  • A Girl and Her Room, 2012, Umbrage Editions, with essays by Anne Tucker, Photography Curator at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Author Susan Minot, selected Best Book of 2012 by Photo-Eye, Photo District News, L’Oeil de la Photographie, British Journal of Photography, Feature Shoot

  • Ordinary Lives, 2009, published by The Quantuck Lane Press with an essay by Anthony Shadid, selected Best Book of 2009 by Photo-Eye.

  • 50 Contemporary Women Artists, John Gosslee and Heather Zises, Editors, Schiffer Editions, 2018

  • She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and The Arab World, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 2013

  • Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and The Middle East, The Harn Museum of Art, 2016

  • Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze, Laurence King Publishing, 2017

Bibliography

  • British Journal of Photography: Live Dangerously, by Laurence Butet-Roch, 2019

  • Il Fotografo Magazine (cover): La bellezza del divenire, essay by Manuela De eonardis, 2019

  • Marie Claire China: Portfolio: SHE by Rania Matar with text by Cedric Van Turtelboom, 2019

  • Lenscratch: The CENTER’s Awards: Editor’s Choice Winner: Rania Matar, by Aline Smithson, 2019 Photograph Magazine: Interview with Lyle Rexer, 2018

  • Artsy: Photographing the Beautiful Awkwardness of Girlhood, by Alexxa Gotthardt, 2018

  • The Washington Post: Interview with Chloe Coleman, Forthcoming, 2017

  • TIME LightBox: Finding Commonality in the Female Experience, by Alexandra Genova, 2017

  • The Atlantic: How Should Art Address Human Rights? by Jacoba Urist, 2017

  • ArtNet: 10 Remarkable Photographers to Discover at This Year’s AIPAD Fair, by Sarah Cascone Christian Science Monitor, L’Enfant-Femme Staff Pick: Photography Book of 2016

  • Marie Claire, France: Portfolio: L’Enfant-Femme, 2016