Richard Levy Gallery is pleased to present a selection of 9 photographs by Rania Matar from the series SHE.
In the artist’s words, “This project organically evolved, as I gradually found that the photographic process was becoming more collaborative and performance driven, and that the women I was working with more involved in the creative process. Instead of just being present in, and blending into, their environment, they were owning it, presiding over it, and making it their own. I found myself focusing on their strength and their majestic presence instead of their vulnerability. They climbed on rocks and trees, jumped in dirty water, crawled under thorns, trespassed into abandoned buildings. The work became about risk-taking, collaboration, experimentation, performance, empowerment, and about pushing the limits of creativity and self-expression. I am thankful to and in awe of these fierce and inspiring women who were willing to get out of their comfort zone.”
“As with the rest of my work, I photograph women both in the Middle East where I am from and the United States where I live, in an effort to focus on our shared humanity and womanhood, and on the strength, power, creativity and beauty of women in both places that I call home.”
Matar's work has been widely published and exhibited in museums worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Carnegie Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and more. A mid-career retrospective of her work at the Cleveland Museum of Art traveled to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the University of Beirut Museum. She is the recipient of many awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant, the Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowship. She was born and raised in Lebanon and currently lives in Boston where she teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.