RANIA MATAR

Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, her cross-cultural experience and personal narrative inform her photography. Matar is the receipent of the 2022 Leica Women Foto Project Award, 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2017 Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant among others. Rania Matar has published four monographs of her work:  SHE, 2021; L’Enfant-Femme, 2016; A Girl and Her Room, 2012; Ordinary Lives, 2009.

  • All
  • Where Do I go? 50 Years Later
  • SHE
  • A Girl and Her Room

Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, her cross-cultural experience and personal narrative inform her photography.

Matar’s work has been widely exhibited in museums worldwide in solo and group exhibtions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Carnegie Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Rollins Museum of Art, Fotografiska, and more. It is part of the permanent collections of several museums, institutions, and private collections. A mid-career retrospective of her work was recently on view at Cleveland Museum of Art, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the American University of Beirut Museum.

In 2023, she will have 2 solo museum exhibitions of her recently published series SHE at the Huntsville Museum of Art and the Fitchburg Museum of Art. Her images will also be part of a traveling exhibition about Women Artists from the Middle East that opens at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).

Matar received several awards and nominations including: a 2022 Leica Women Foto Project Award, 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2017 Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant, 2021 (2011, 2007) Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowships, and a 2011 Griffin Museum of Photography Legacy Award. In 2022, she was a finalist for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition with an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, for the Taylor Wessing Prize with an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and for the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture.  In 2008 she was a finalist for the Foster Award at the ICA/Boston, with an accompanying solo exhibition.

She published four books:

SHE, 2021; L’Enfant-Femme, 2016; A Girl and Her Room, 2012; Ordinary Lives, 2009.

SELECTED UPCOMING AND RECENT SOLO EXHIBITS:

2023
Women Defining Women in Contemporary Art of the Middle East and Beyond, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

2022

Art in Embassies, American Embassy Residence, Bern CH (Until January 2025)
SHE | PHOTOGRAPHS BY RANIA MATAR The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, USA
Where Do I Go? Presented by Leica Women Foto Project Brooklyn Bridge Park,New York, USA

2021

On the Other Side of the Window, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins, Winter Park FL

2020 – 2021

Escape Routes / SHE, Bangkok Art Bienniale 2020, Bangkok Thailand

2020

An Image and Her Woman, The Photographs of Rania Matar, American University of Beirut Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

2018

Rania Matar, A Selection of Photographs, Landskrona Photography Festival, Landskrona, Sweden
Invisible Children, Michael Horbach Stiftung Gallery, Cologne Germany
A Girl and Her Room, Newport Art Museum, Newport RI, USA
SHE, Galerie Tanit, Beirut Lebanon
SHE, Ohio Portraits, The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, Gambier OH, USA
In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar, Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth TX

2019

A Girl and Her Room, Remis Art Gallery, Governor’s Academy, Byfield MA, USA
Rana Matar a Selection of Works, cle Contemporary, Milan Photo Fair 2019, Milan Italy
Invisible Children, Galerie Tanit, Munich Germany
In Her Image, Photographs by Rania Matar, Transformer Station, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland OH, USA
From Woman to Woman : Becoming, cIe contemporary Gallery, Milan Italy

2016

Becoming: Girls, Women and Coming of Age – Pulse Miami Art Fair, Pictura Gallery, USA
Becoming: Girls, Women and Coming of Age – Pictura Gallery, Bloomington Indiana USA
Deux Univers: Enfants et Femmes – Galerie Janie Rubeiz, Beirut, Lebanon

2015

Becoming: Girls, Women and Coming of Age – East Wing Gallery, Dubai
A Girl and Her Room, Galerie Eupenspiegel, Basel Switzerland

2014

Women of the Middle East, Toot Yung Art Gallery, Bangkok Thailand
Ordinary Lives, Arab-American Museum, Dearborn Michigan, USADeserted Spaces and Ordinary Lives, Kinzelman Art at Fotofest, Bank of American Center, Houston TX, USA
Women of the Middle East, Alliance Francaise de Singapore, Singapore

2013
L’Enfant-Femme, Carroll and Sons Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
A Girl and Her Room, Galerie Lichtblick, Cologne, DE
A Girl and Her Room, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, DE

2012 – 2013

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

2012

A Girl and Her Room, SouthEast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL, USA
A Girl and Her Room, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland Oregon, USA
Girls In Between: Portraits of Identity Photographic Resource Center Boston, Massachusetts, USA
A Girl and Her Room, Leica Gallery, Warsaw, PL
A Girl and Her Room, Umbrage Gallery, Brooklyn New York, USA
A Girl and Her Room, Leica Headquarters Gallery, Solms, DE
A Girl and Her Room , Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut, LB
A Girl and Her Room, The Foster Gallery, Dedham Massachusetts, USA

2011

A Girl and Her Room, The Mosaic Rooms at the A.M Qattan Foundation, London, UK
Portraits of Teenagers, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, Texas, USA
A Girl and Her Room, De Santos Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA,

2010

A Girl and Her Room, Gallery of Photography B&B, Bielsko Biala, PL
A Girl and Her Room, Schneider Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA
A Girl and Her Room, Gallery Kayafas, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

2009

Ordinary Lives, The Mosaic Rooms Gallery, London UK
Ordinary Lives, Mt Ida College Gallery, Brookline Massachusetts, USA
Ordinary Lives, MANEGE, by invitation, St. Petersburg RU
Ordinary Lives, The Institute of Contemporary Art, ICA Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Ordinary Lives, Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut, LB

2008

Contrapuntal Lines, A tribute to Edward Said, Koppelman Gallery, Tufts University, Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
Women of Islam in the Aftermath of War, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Lebanon at the Crossroads, Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan, USA
The Veil, Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene, Texas, USA
The Veil, Council for Foreign Relations, New York City, New York, USA
Lebanon at the Crossroads, Gallery Kayafas, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Aftermath of War, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland Oregon, USA

2007

The Veil, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
The Veil, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

SELECTED UPCOMING AND RECENT GROUP EXHIBITS:

2022

A Decade of Collecting, Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota Florida, USA
The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today, The National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C., USA
At The Threshold, Gold/scopophilia Gallery, Montclair, NJ, USA
La Biennale di Venezia: From Palestine with Art – Organised by the Palestine Museum, US, Venice, Italy
Portrait of a Lady: Foundation Boghossian, Villa Empain, Brussels Belgium
The Bind of Humanity, Leica Woman Foto Project Winners Exhibition, Fotografiska, New York, NY, USA
US | THEM| WE Race x Ethnicity x Identity, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester MA, USA

2021
Opulence and the Everyday: 19th Century collection Gallery Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX, USA
Middle Eastern Galleries Now, East Wing at Artsy (an on-line exhibition)
i’m yours – Encounters with Art in Our Times, ICA/Boston, Boston MA, USA
Multiple Voices, Multiple Stories, Works from the Collection, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins, Winter Park FL, USA
All We Carry, PrattMWP College of Art and Design, Utica NY, USA
Keeper of the Hearth, Houston Center for Photography, Houston TX

2020 – 2021

Contemporary Muslim Fashion, Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum, New York NY
Being Seen, Recent Acquisitions from the Ringling Photography Collection, The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota FL, USA

2020
Breaking the Frame, Women Artists from the Harn Museum of Art Collection, Julia C. & Budd H. Bishop Gallery, Gainesville FL, USA
Art in Isolation, Creativity in the Time of COVID – 19, Middle East Institute, Washington DC, USA
A Tacit Inheritance, Rania Matar and Elizabeth Claffey, Herron School of Art + Design Gallery at IUPUI, Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis, IN, USA
Retratos de Mulheres por Mulheres (Portraits of Women by Women), Centro Cultural FIESP, São Paulo Brazil
A Yellow Rose Project, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver CO, USA
Looking Eastward, Palazzo Tagliaferro, Andora Italy
Clear Boundaries, Arne Svenson and Rania Matar, (online exhibition) Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA, USA
Korea International Photography Festival, Seoul Arts Center, Hangaram Museum, Seoul South Korea
SHE, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Particular Portraits, Essex Art Center, Lawrence MA, USA
Art on Paper, Richard Levy Gallery, New York, NY, USA
Our Earthly Figures, Foley Gallery, New York, NY, USA
Unspoken Conversations, Théâtre Le Liberté, Grand Hôtel – Place de la Liberté, Toulon, France
Just Kids, Harrison Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis MN, USA

2019 – 2020

Re/New, Recent Acquisitions by Contemporary Artists, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington IN, USA
Truthiness and the News, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln MA, USA
Live Dangerously, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA

2019

Mara’ina, King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), Dhahran Saudi Arabia
LIFE, Lebanese Art and Design Exhibition, Phillips, Berkeley Sq London, UK
The Female Lens, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York NY, USA
Women of Resilience, Lebanese Embassy of Athens, Athens Greece
Forever Young, Representations of Childhood and Adolesence, Newport Art Museum, Cushing,
Morris, Ilgenfritz, Corridor and Wright Galleries, Newport RI, USA
She Who Tells A Story, Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill NC, USA
Presence of Being, Laconia Gallery, Boston MA
Contemporary Muslim Fashion, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt Germany
Taswir, Contemporary Arab Photography, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo Brazil
Unspoken: Expanded, Nine Women Photographers, RI Center for Photographic Arts, Providence RI, USA
SHE, Robert Klein Gallery, Boston MA, USA
The Value of Sanctuary, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City NY
The Far Shore: Navigating Homeland, Arab American Museum, Dearborn MI, USA
Outspoken: Seven Women Photographers, Tremaine Gallery, Hotchkiss School, Lakeville CT, USA
Un Oeil Ouvert sur le Monde Arabe, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris France

2018

Contemporary Muslim Fashion, De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA, USA
Across Boundaries, Beirut Art Fair, Beirut, Lebanon
The Shapes of Birds, Contemporary Art in the Middle East And North Africa, Newport Art Museum, Newport RI
The Care and Feeding: the Art of Parenthood, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto CA
Palestine Through Photography, 70 Years After the NAKBA, Samir Kassar Foundation, Beirut Lebanon
The Future of America, Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth GA, USA
She Who Tells a Story, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

2017

Aftermath: The Fallout of War – America and the Middle East, Harn Museum of Modern Art, Gainesville Florida, USA
Photographing the Female, Focus Photography Festival, Sun Mill Studios Compound Lower Parel, Mumbai, India (March)

2016

Mortal Things: Portraits Look Back and Forth, Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, Massachusetts, USA
A Fragile Balance – Flash Forward Photo Festival, Fort Point Arts Community Gallery, Boston Massachusetts, USA
She Who Tells A Story – National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA

2015
She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg Pennsylvania, USA.
‘She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and The Arab World”, Cantor Arts Center, San Francisco California, USA.
‘Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition’ – National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
Menschenskinder: Children’s Worlds Between Desire and Reality – Arp Museum, Remagen, Germany

2014

Breaking Ground: Contemporary Photography, College of William an Mary,
Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
A Source of Identity: Contrasting Personal Environments, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, New Hampshire, USA
Outspoken: Six Women Photographers , Nesto Gallery at Milton Academy, Milton, New England, USA
The Middle East Revealed: A Female Perspective, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, New York, USA
Beirut: Bridge to Palestine, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, LBN
The Other and Me, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah UAE
Ladies Only – Contemporary Women Photographers, Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi Georgia.

2013

“She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and The Arab World”, Exhibition curated
by Ms. Kristen Gresh, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
International Photography Festival of Rome Book Exhibition, curated by Douglas Stockdale,
Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Fotografia 2012, Rome, IT

2012

Women on the Verge, Women Photographers from the Middle East, The Empty Quarter Gallery,
Dubai, UAE

2011

A Girl and Her Room, curated by Robert Morton, Lishui Photo Festival, China
Ordinary Lives, Rome Photo Festival, Rome, IT
Rebirth, Beirut Exhibition Center, curated by Janine Maamari and Danièle Giraudy, Conservateur Général des Musées de France, Beirut, LBN
Winner Legacy Award 2011, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, Massachusetts, USA
Photo National 2011, University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, Maine, USA
Off the Wall, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, Massachusetts, USA
Exposure 2011, Photographic Resource Center: Exposure 2011, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

2010

Group Exhibition, curated by Dr. Jörg Colberg, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, Massachusetts, USA
Group Exhibition, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland Oregon, USA
I-95 Triennial Invitational Exhibition, University of Maine Museum of Art, Orono Maine, USA
Abdijdmuseum Ten Duinen, Koksijde Belgium: Act of Faith Noorderlicht Photography, Groningen, NL
International Art of the Lebanese Diaspora winners exhibition, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, LBN

2009 – 2010

Beyond Place: Recent Photography Acquisitions, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, USA

2009

Three Concerned Women, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, Massachusetts, USA
New England Photographer’s Biennial, Danforth Museum of Art,
New England Photographer’s Biennial, Framingham, Massachusetts, USA
The Pursuit of Happiness, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen, NL

2008
MCC Grant Recipients Exhibition, Trustman Art Gallery, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Photographs of Children from the Permanent Collection, De Cordova Sculpture Park and
Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA

2007

MCC Grant Recipients Exhibition, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, Massachusetts, USA Houston Center for Photography, 25th Anniversary Exhibition, curated by Anne Tucker, Moving Walls International, sponsored by OSI, Soros Foundation, Espace SD, Beirut, LB.

2006

9th International Photography Gathering, Le Pont Gallery, Aleppo Syria

MONOGRAPHS PUBLICATIONS:

2021

SHE, published by Radius Books.

2015

L’Enfant Femme, 2015 published by Damiani Editore

2012
A Girl and Her Room, by Umbrage Editions NY, essays by Anne Tucker, curator of photographs Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Susan Minot, author of Evenings and Monkeys

2009

Ordinary Lives, by the Quantuck Lane Press and WW Norton, NY, essay by the late Anthony Shadid, 2004 and 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winner for international reporting, and poetry by American-Palestinian poet Lisa Majaj.