Dana Hoey (b. 1966, San Francisco, CA)
Dana Hoey is an American photographer born in San Francisco and based in the Hudson Valley, New York. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in photography from the Yale University School of Art.
The artist’s work examines contemporary female identity through staged and directed photographs and videos, which set off “peculiarly allusive narrative sparks” by echoing familiar photographic and filmic conventions. At the beginning of her career, Hoey photographed her friends, but her oeuvre has since widened to portray women of all ages in various scenarios. Pushing the photographic and video medium’s tendency to blur the line between fact and fiction, interior and exterior appearance, Hoey interrogates the social roles that women play.
In 2017, Hoey conducted a residency project at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) in Michigan from February 11 – May 17. In addition to presenting her photographs and videos, she offered free jiu-jitsu self-defense classes to a group of local young women that the Detroit Police Athletic League assembled. The classes, which the artist filmed, linked the arts with concepts of social engagement, examining ways to foster bonds between police offices and the communities they serve. In the fall of 2012, Hoey presented The Phantom Sex, a survey exhibition at The University Art Museum at Albany, New York, featuring works created throughout her career since the 1990’s. An accompanying monograph was published for this exhibition by the university, which includes an essay by Johanna Burton.
In 2019 Petzel gallery hosted Dana Hoey Presents, a para fictional exhibition conceptualized, produced and directed by Hoey, in which the artist showed her own photographic work, the performance and sculpture work of Marcela Torres, and a live ladies Muay Thai fight night that took place in a 20’ x 20’ boxing ring installed inside the gallery. The show challenged and confronted preconceived ideas and realities of feminism, combat, violence, self-defense and the martial arts. For her own work, Hoey presented Ghost Stories, highly subjective, surreal lightbox collages, made from images shot by Hoey, as well as poster-style portraits of the subjects featuring their names and occupations. In the labeled posters Hoey aimed to surface the power dynamic of portraiture, particularly as it relates to a white artist taking the image of non-white people.
Hoey has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Solo exhibitions include Dana Hoey: Five Rings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2017); Dana Hoey & Em Rooney, Raising Cattle, Montreal (2016); Love Your Enemy, Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany (2014); Experiments in Primitive Living, organized by Maurice Berger, at the Center for Art Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore (2010); and Dana Hoey at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2000). Selected group exhibitions include Strike Fast, Dance Lightly: Artists on Boxing, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2023); Live Dangerously, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (2019); Moving Women, Analix Forever, Geneva (2018); Love Job: Kieren Seymour and Dana Hoey, Sutton Gallery, Victoria (2017); We Pictured You Reading This at Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston (2010); Muse at the Wildenberg Art Center, Tulane University, New Orleans (2010), among many others.
Her work is held in various public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, Vermont; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California.
“Where her earlier photographs were cryptic, coy and ironic, these are infused with unmistakable fury. At a moment when attacks on women extend from the street to the highest levels of the United States government, Ms. Hoey’s is a gloves-off statement arguing for women as powerful and ready to rumble against discrimination or historical stereotypes – even against one another,”
– Martha Schewender, The New York Times, 2019
1966 Born in San Francisco, CA
1989 Received BA in Philosophy from Welseyan University, Middletown, CT
1996 a/drift, Hessel Museum of Art at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY Summer Group Show, Petzel, New York, NY
1997 Received MFA in Photography from Yale University, New Haven, CT
Dana Hoey, Petzel, New York, NY High Anxiety, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL The Name of the Place,
Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Laurie Simmons
1998 Some Young New Yorkers II, MoMA PS1, New York, NY
1999 Phoenix, Petzel, New York, NY Uncanny, Fotomuseum Winterhur, Wilmington, DE
2000 Dana Hoey, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
2001 Dana Hoey, Tache-Levy, Brussels, BE
2002 Moon Bitches, Petzel, New York, NY
2003 Faking Real, Le Roy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University, New York, NY
2005 Focus On: New Photography, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
2006 Pattern Recognition, Petzel, New York, NY COMPLICIT! Contemporary American Art and Mass Culture, University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, VA
2007 The Lath Picture Show, Petzel, New York, NY
2008 Experiments in Primitive Living, Petzel, New York, NY
2010 Experiments in Primitive Living, Center for Art Design and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
2012 The Phantom Sex, University Art Museum at the University of Albany, Albany, NY
2013 The Phantom Sex, Petzel, New York, NY
2014 Blueprint, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, AZ
2015 Artists’ Choice: An Ezpanded Field of Photography, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA
2016 Dana Hoey & Em Rooney, Raising Cattle, Montreal, Canada
Uncanny Energy, Analix Forever, Geneva, CH
Art Paris Art Fair, Paris, FR
2017 Dana Hoey: Five Rings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI
2019 Dana Hoey Presents, Petzel, New York, NY
Live Dangerously, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
2020 Downloadable, Petzel, New York, NY
What Women Want, Cornell Fine Arts, Winter Park, FL
2023 Strike Fast, Dance Lightly: Artists on Boxing, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY