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Rania Matar

SHE

May 15 - July 3


This project had started in Gambier, Ohio, where I fell in love with the landscape and started photographing these young women in relationship to the transitional landscape they found themselves in once they left the cocoon of home, to be students at Kenyon College. I travelled extensively within the United States and the Middle East to further develop this series. - Rania Matar


I saw Nour at a restaurant in Beirut and couldn't take my eyes off her and her bright red hair. I approached her and asked her if I could photograph her, and we made an appointment for another day. She knew all those locations, old homes damaged during the Lebanese Civil War that are still standing, in a frozen limbo – a texture of Beirut, and a painful reminder of a past that looms heavy over the collective memory of the young generation. The space where she is standing had no ceiling so she is inside looking out, but she is also outside looking in.

Rania Matar (b. 1964) Nour #2, Beirut Lebanon, 2017 archival pigment print on Baryta paper Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8, $4,700 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


I met Alasia at Kenyon College in Gambier Ohio, where she is a student and where I was doing my Mellon Foundation Grant residency. We agreed to meet at 8AM that morning but it was snowing and the temperature was below freezing. Alasia would take her coat off and we would make a couple of photos and then we would take a break - she would put her coat back on and I would wear my gloves and hide my camera to avoid all of us (+ my camera) from freezing. Despite the conditions, we managed to make a beautiful and quiet photograph.

Rania Matar (b. 1964) Alasia, Gambier Ohio, 2018 archival pigment print on Baryta paper Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8, $4,200 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


Sara and Samira are Palestinian refugee young women (sisters) who were born and raised in Bourj El Barajneh refugee camp, in the outskirts of Beirut. They are 3rd generation Palestinian refugees. I have known them and their family since Samira was 4 and Sara wasn't born yet. I have developed a very close relationship with the family over the years and have been photographing them since. They are a very tight-knit family and the sisters are very close. In my interest in focusing on hair and texture, I chose to include the headscarf that some women choose to wear. One sister is veiled and the other isn't and the hair and the veil are intertwined. Rania Matar (b. 1964) Sara and Samira, Bourj El Barajneh Refugee Camp, Beirut Lebanon, 2017 archival pigment print on Baryta paper Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8, $4,200 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


I met Eva at a spin class where she worked. I fell in love with the bright red hair and her beautiful demeanor. We agreed that I would pick her up at her place and we would make pictures close to her apartment in East Boston. On our way, we passed a construction site with a large empty warehouse and this metal "wall" that related to the color of her hair and her dress. It also matched the raw fabric and texture of East Boston. As I am always interested in texture and physicality and the relationship of the young woman to her larger environment. It all fell into place. Rania Matar (b. 1964) Eva, East Boston Massachusetts, 2017, archival pigment print on Baryta paper Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8, $4,200 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


Wafaa and Sanaa are twins living in the Palestinian refugee camp of Bourj El Barajneh. As I was interested in texture and hair, I thought the headscarf was in some strange way the equivalent of the hair. This is a family I have been photographing for many years.Â

Rania Matar (b. 1964) Wafaa and Sanaa, Bourj El Barajneh Refugee Camp, Beirut Lebanon, 2017 archival pigment print on Baryta paper

Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6, $7,900 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


I met Rayven at a restaurant in Miami and was fascinated by her majestic presence. It was serendipitous that our paths intersected when they did, both of us on vacation. I was heading back to Boston that same day and she was there on spring break with her family, from Wichita, Kansas. She is Black Albino from an African American father and a Mexican mother. The photo session was a magical moment we shared under a stormy gray sky as waves collapse into foamy ripples at her feet.

Rania Matar (b. 1964) Rayven, Miami Beach Florida, 2018, archival pigment print on Baryta paper

Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6, $5,900 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


I photographed Molly-Kate in her room where the light was incredible. I had just come upstairs as she couldn't decide what to wear and we ended up making the pictures in her room. She is in art school and she made that painting in the background. The painting was hanging behind me but once I realized that she had made the painting, I wanted to include it in the photograph - I especially like the fact that the model with the red hair, looks like an older version of MollyKate herself, as she painted herself older. Rania Matar (b. 1964) Molly-Kate, Allston Massachusetts, 2018, archival pigment print on Baryta paper Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8, $4,200 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


I met Kefa in Gambier Ohio where I was doing my Mellon artist residency. She is from Nigeria originally, and I from Lebanon - and here we were a Middle Eastern and an African roaming around rural Ohio making photographs next to barns (some of them with Trump signs). It was a very special moment we shared. The owner of that barn, an older man living alone, was following us around fascinated with the whole process. Rania Matar (b. 1964) Kefa, Gambier, Ohio, 2018 archival pigment print on Baryta paper

Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6, $6,900 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


I met Alae because she reached out to me on Instagram asking to collaborate. I thought it was interesting as she is fully covered in the black Abaya. I went to her page and it said: "Follow me - I'm toxic". I thought that was brilliant and I became interested in meeting her. She shattered my own stereotypes about the full black covering. She is extremely involved in the artistic process. She has tons of ideas and she is very adventurous. It has been a treat working with her and we ended up collaborating on different occasions. She is wild, creative, and willing to 100% put herself out there.Â

Rania Matar (b. 1964) Alae, Khitam, Lebanon, 2019 archival pigment print on Baryta paper Available in 3 image sizes: 19.2 x 24 inches, edition 8 28.8 x 36 inches, edition 6, $5,900 40 x 50 inches, edition 2


Rania Matar (b. 1964) explores issues of personal and collective identity is her series SHE. Photographs of female adolescence and womanhood are captured in the United States and the Middle East where the artist has resided. She focuses on notions of identity and individuality, within the context of the underlying universality.

Her photographs are in permanent collections worldwide, including the Broad Museum of Art, Lansing MI; The Guggenheim Foundation, New York, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles CA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Portland Art Museum, Portland OR; the Worcester Museum of Art, Worcester, MA; and the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA among many others. A mid-career retrospective of her work was recently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art: In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar and at the American University of Beirut Museum in An Image and Her Women. She was born and raised in Lebanon and currently lives in Boston where she teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

My work addresses the states of 'Becoming'– the fraught beauty and the vulnerability of growing up –in the context of the visceral relationships to our physical environment and universal humanity. By collaborating with women in the United States and in the Middle East ‐ and while still looking to reveal the individuality of each young woman ‐ I focus on our essence, our physicality and the commonalities that make us human, ultimately highlighting how female subjectivity develops in parallel forms across cultural lines”. -Rania Matar


on view through July 3, 2020

Profile for Richard Levy Gallery

Rania Matar Exhibtion at Richard Levy Gallery  

This publication comprises artwork and installation images for a 2020 exhibition at Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque, NM. The exhibition...

Rania Matar Exhibtion at Richard Levy Gallery  

This publication comprises artwork and installation images for a 2020 exhibition at Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque, NM. The exhibition...

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