Daniel Heyman
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“Human Evidence” at Princeton University, “Close Encounters” at American University, and “Daniel Heyman” at University of Iowa Museum of Art

(Philadelphia – 20 September 2008) While many artists have documented their beliefs about human rights abuses in Iraq, painter and printmaker Daniel Heyman has had the unique opportunity to witness interviews with a number of its former detainees and express his impressions through his art. The Abu Ghraib Detainee Interview Project, the collection of works Heyman created during his visits in Amman and Istanbul with released prisoners in 2006 and 2007, portrays more than twenty individuals of all ages, occupations, and backgrounds. Episodes from their own harrowing narratives are part of each work: Heyman's spare and expressive portraits haloed by words describing the inhumanity of their experiences. Most recently, he heard testimony from Iraqi victims of violence at the hands of Blackwater Security employees in Baghdad in September 2007. Works from the Abu Ghraib Detainee Interview Project and the Blackwater Project will be on view in three exhibitions this fall.

That “Human Evidence: The War in Iraq” is being shown by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University is telling. Curator Kate Somers juxtaposes Heyman’s Abu Ghraib and Blackwater tragic civilian portraits with New York Times Baghdad bureau photographer Michael Kamber’s searing images of combat soldiers aiding each other in the field. “Human Evidence” --examples of human good and evil as documented by one artist and one photographer. The exhibition opens on 1 September. On 21 October is a special panel discussion with the artists and Susan Burke, Lead Counsel for Abu Ghraib torture litigation, Burke O’Neil, LLC, and Steven Simon, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and recently appointed as the John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs and Company Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School.

Ten Abu Ghraib Project works also are included in “Close Encounters – Facing the Future” at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center from 13 September to 26 October. Curated by Donald Russell and Niels Van Tomme, “Close Encounters” brings together key contemporary artists, in media ranging from painting to video, and invites the viewer to connect directly with art that considers the issues at stake in the November election. In addition to Heyman, the artists will include Allora & Calzadilla, Enrique Chagoya, Mel Chin, Jenny Holzer, Mildred Howard, Ester Partegas, and Roger Shimomura.

Former Philadelphia Print Center Director Kathleen A. Edwards is Chief Curator of the University of Iowa Museum of Art and was chief organizer of the heroic and quite successful effort to save the Museum’s collection from the devastating floods of last spring. She curates its first exhibition since that event, “Daniel Heyman,” opening 1 November at the Museum’s temporary space in Iowa City’s Old Capitol Museum. A broad selection of Heyman’s work in a range of media – from drypoint to Japanese woodblock printing to pencil drawings – will engage viewers in a variety of thoughtful and challenging ways.

“From the time of morning prayers they would draw a circle on the wall and I had to stand on my toes 2 hours with my nose touching the circle. Then I was interrogated 15 minutes, then I had to stand on my toes, nose on the circle again 2 hours…They brought a dog. They said that if I do not answer the questions, that they would have the dog eat me. I was in a wooden box.-- Detainee interview excerpt in “From the Time of Morning Prayers” on view in
“Daniel Heyman” at the University of Iowa Museum of Art

Exhibitions Opening Fall 2008

All Exhibitions, Lectures, and Symposia - Fall 2008

August 28 – November 16, 2008
"Visible Means: Observations of Queer Experience"
Duluth Art Institute, George Morrison Gallery
Dialogue with the Curator and Artists: Monday, September 22 at 6pm
T: 218 733 7560

September 1 – October 24, 2008
"Human Evidence: The War in Iraq"
Bernstein Gallery, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Panel Discussion: 21 October 2008, 4:30pm
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
T: 609 258 2222

September 13 – October 26, 2008
"Close Encounters – Facing the Future"
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
American University, Washington, D.C.
T: 202 885 1300

September 23, 2008
Tweed Museum of Art Visual Lecture Series
University of Minnesota - Duluth
Tweed Lecture Gallery, 6 pm
T: 218 726 8222

October 15, 2008
"Portraits and Lawsuits : Lifting the Hoods on Torture. A collaboration with artist Daniel Heyman and law firms Burke-O'Neil, LLC and Akeel & Valentine, PLC"
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI
DeSalle Auditorium, 1:30 pm

October 23, 2008
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
College Building, Room 412, 5:30 pm
T: 401 454 6100

November 1, 2008 – January 4, 2009
“Eye Witness: Daniel Heyman's Portraits of Iraqi Torture Victims”
Solo exhibition curated by Kathleen Edwards.
University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA
Hanson Family Humanities Gallery, Old Capitol Museum
Lecture and reception: 4pm, Dec. 4; Panel Discussion: 5-7pm, Dec. 5
T: 319 335 1727

November 1, 2008
"On the Limits and Possibilities of Politics in Art"
Symposium and panel discussion
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 9 am to 5 pm
Speakers include: Laylah Ali, David Carrier, Enrique Chagoya, Sue Coe,
Robert Cozzolino, Daniel Heyman, Patricia Hills, Jane Irish, Irving
Petlin, Peter Saul, and Art Spiegelman. Held in conjunction with
"Peter Saul: A Retrospective"
T: 215 972 0522

November 5 – December 19, 2008
“Sound Off”
BRIC Rotunda Gallery
33 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, NY
Opening Reception: November 5, 7-9 pm
Artists: Daniel Heyman, Ashley Hunt, Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, Jenny Polak, Dread Scott

November 16, 2008
Sunday Platform (talk)
Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia
1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, 11 am
T: 215 735 3456


Heyman in Recent Publications

New York Times, March 23, 2008. “Crux of War Depicted in Human Terms,” review by Benjamin Genocchio

Art in America, February 2008. “Daniel Heyman at the Print Center,” review by Anne R. Fabbri

Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2008. “Art Born of the Need to Tell,” by Laurel Reuter, Curator, North Dakota Museum of Art

Esquire, February 2008. “The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Torture,” by Nick Flynn

Drainmag.com, Fall 2007. “Do You Remember? Visual Debriefings from Iraq”


Daniel Heyman is a painter and printmaker. His work has been shown in solo shows in New York at the 55 Mercer Gallery (four exhibitions) and Gallery B.A.I.; in Philadelphia at The Print Center, Fleisher Art Memorial, Mangel Gallery (two exhibitions), Dolan/Maxwell Gallery, and the Philadelphia Art Alliance; at the Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, MA; in Los Angeles at The Advocate Gallery at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Center; as well as in galleries in San Francisco, Hartford, and Sydney. His work has been acquired by such notable public collections as the New York Public Library, Yale University Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Princeton University Museum of Art, and the Library of Congress.

Heyman has been included in many regional and national group shows including exhibitions Jim Kempner Fine Art among works by Jeff Koons, Chuck Close, Kiki Smith, and others (“People,” 2008); New York Public Library (2007); the International Print Center (2007); Moore College of Art (2002 and 2004); The Fleisher Art Memorial (Philadelphia, 2005); The Portland (ME) Museum of Art; Butler Institute of American Art; Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University; and Union College Art Gallery in New York State.

In 2008, Heyman’s work has been exhibited at the Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz in “Intimacies of a Distant War,” at the North Dakota Museum of Art in “Artists and War” curated by Laurel Reuter, and in a solo exhibition at the DePaul University Museum, “Abu Ghraib Detainee Interview Project,” curated by Louise Lincoln. This fall, his work will appear in “Close Encounters” at American University, in “Visible Means” at the Duluth Art Institute, in a solo show at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, and in a two-person exhibition, “Human Evidence,” with New York Times photographer Michael Kamber at the Bernstein Gallery of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

He has been awarded an AMJ Foundation Grant (2006), Independence Foundation Grant (2005-06), a 5-County Arts Fund Grant (2005), a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts S.O.S. Grant (2005), two Professional Development Grants from the Rhode Island School of Design (2005 and 2006), and a James B. Reynolds International Fellowship (France)

from Dartmouth College (1986-87). Heyman’s residencies include Yaddo (2008), the MacDowell Colony (2007), St. Michael’s College (Colchester, VT, 2004), the Nagasawa Art Park Printmaking Program (Japan, 2002), and the Millay Colony for the Arts (Forest Fellow, 1994). 

Heyman’s work is featured in Male Desire: Homosexual Desire in American Art (2005), Virginia Quarterly Review (“Art Born of the Need to Tell” by Laurel Reuter, Fall 2007) Esquire (“The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Torture” by Nick Flynn, February 2008) and has been reviewed by The New York Times, Art in America, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Artblog, The Hartford Courant, France Ouest, and The Sydney Morning Herald. As a teacher, Heyman has presented workshops and lectured at the Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, Fashion Institute of Technology, Centre International des Arts Contemporain (Pont Aven, France), and Philadelphia University. Currently, Heyman teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design and Swarthmore College.

Heyman earned an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and is a cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College. He lives in Philadelphia. To view a sampling of his works, please visit www.danielheyman.com.

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