Meet The Internationally Acclaimed Lebanese Artist Walid Raad

Walid Raad | Sfeir-Semler Gallery/ Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Walid Raad is an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist whose creations from videos, photographs, and essays are featured in museums around the world.

His works are unique in that they reflect the ways history is told and how it can be manipulated. He focuses on the history of Lebanon, especially the period between 1975 and 1990 (the Lebanese civil war), inspired by the trauma it caused.

His exceptional creative work has earned him many prestigious awards, including the 2007 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize; the 2007 Alpert Award for Visual Arts; the 2011 Hasselblad Award; and most recently, the Aachener Kunstpreis in 2018, and more.

Walid Raad at the Museum of Modern Art. / Agaton Strom for The New York Times

Born in Chbanieh, Lebanon, in 1967, Walid Raad studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).

He then achieved an M.A in Cultural and Visual Studies from the University of Rochester in New York in 1993, followed by a Ph.D. from the same university in 1996.

He is a member of the Arab Image Foundation and has co-curated an “exploration” of Arab photography through identity, under the title of Mapping Sitting: On Portraiture and Photography.

Museum of Modern Art, 2015 – Sfeir-Semler Gallery

In 1989, he founded The Atlas Group to promote his work about Lebanon’s history and war through a collection of films, videos, photographs, and other documents, creating a fictional archive that criticizes the traditional documentation methods.

Some of his notable celebrated works include Notebook Volume 38: Already Been in a Lake of Fire, BEY82_Artillery_II, and The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs.

Raad has also published numerous fictional books about the Lebanese civil war under the pseudonym Walter Koenig.

His works were also exhibited at many well-known exhibitions around the world, like Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany; The Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy; The Whitney Biennial in New York; and The Ayloul Festival in Beirut, Lebanon.

Raad also showcased his art in many events and museums in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

He currently lives in New York, where he works as an associate professor at the Cooper Union School of Art.

Walid Raad is also represented by the Sfeir-Semler Gallery (between Germany and Lebanon), and Paula Cooper Gallery (in New York). His video works are watched by many, and it was distributed by Video Data Bank, Chicago, and V-Tape, Toronto.