Chaos Gives Birth To Being, the giant, squatting on bright green rocks in a blue sea, his body covered with babies crawling on him, being born by him. He points up at a bunch of purple grapes. I think of Dionysus, of the playful lover of life, and I think of the necessity of embracing chaos to make art. - Kathleen Tolan from Daniel Heyman: Summons catalog essay
Daniel Heyman is an artist whose work in drawing, printmaking and painting directs the viewer's attention to contemporary social and political issues. Deeply interested in narrative, he uses images to tell stories that combine a love of history and myth in an effort to provoke discussion and empathy. In his recent Summons series, Heyman emphatically returns to images without words. His previous effort, the monumental woodcut Janus from 2019-2020, represents time as an endless string of birth, renewal and death for creatures and ideas. Here, even the very human act of making culture is seen as both creative and destructive, signaling the profound influence Japanese art and culture has had on his work.
Alongside the Summons paintings, Heyman presents a woodblock print on handmade Japanese paper. Summer Squall 2021 is mounted on a scroll and unfurls over 29 feet in length revealing a narrative event both calm and harrowing.
Daniel Heyman received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania (1991) and his AB from Dartmouth College (1985). In 2010 Heyman was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Fine Arts. In 2009, Heyman received the Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Heyman's work is in over 50 collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX; Hood Museum of Art and Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; The New York Public Library, New York, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ; RISD Museum, Providence, RI; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO; and Yale University Art Gallery and Beinecke Library, New Haven, CT; among others.