Rania Matar will release a new monograph in spring 2021 with Radius Books in the US. As a Lebanese-born American artist and mother, Rania Matar’s cross-cultural experiences are essential in her arts practice. Rania has dedicated her work to exploring issues of personal and collective identity through photographs of female adolescence and womanhood—both in the United States where she lives, and in the Middle East where she is from.
Focusing on young women in their late teens and early twenties, she is interested in studying these girls who are leaving the cocoon of home, entering adulthood and facing new realities. Depicting women in the United States and the Middle East, this project highlights how female subjectivity develops in parallel forms across cultural lines.
Each young woman becomes an active participant in the image-making process, presiding over the environment and making it her own. Matar portrays the raw beauty of her subjects—their age, individuality, physicality and mystery—and photographs them the way she, a woman and a mother, sees them: beautiful, alive.
Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. She has received several grants and awards including a 2019 CENTER First Place Choice Award, 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 2007 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowships. Matar’s work has been exhibited in museums worldwide. In 2008 she was a finalist for the Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with an accompanying solo exhibition. She had mid-career retrospectives at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the American University of Beirut Museum. Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums, institutions and private collections worldwide, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.