The Collages of Helen Adam
Helen Adam always had her camera with her. The first picture I have of hers is from a Halloween Party with Ebbe Borregaard, Joe Dunn, and me in costume. She was famous for the strange phenomena her brownie camera permitted—swirls of light and water spouts rising up out of ponds next to Robert Duncan. After I returned from Japan in 1964, I found my old friend, painter and Zen student Bill McNeill, was making a movie starring Helen—Daydream of Darkness. Scenes were dramatic, overlooking the ocean, crashing waves, swirling capes in front of moody cypress. 1963-64 was a time of heightened social activity, and Helen took lots of pictures of her poet and artist friends, many of which were in her show at Buzz Gallery. Her photos were a great gift of the moment.
— Joanne Kyger
The seamless collages of Helen Adam seem to defy their own construction. The collaged images are so deftly woven together that we often do not at first see the eerie combinations half hidden in what appears to be a normal, regular, expected scene. Then our eyes draw back in question and looking again we see that the highly fashionable, exquisite gown is held up by clinging bats stretched neatly over the pale shoulder of the young girl, replacing elegant spaghetti straps with slender bat arms and long bat fingers. How did Helen Adam do that? This must be tweezers work of the highest order. We can only marvel at the creation of these chilling, stunning, magical, monstrous, intriguing paperworks. They become interconnected, forming an ever-widening labyrinth that draws us into the dark, uncharted world of Helen Adam, where her marvelous camouflage unhinges our reality.
— Maureen Owen
Helen Adam lived the dream-scape of visionary poesis and made dramatic icons of her visions in witty, wicked, and campy-critical collages. It is thrilling to have this selection of her bewitching and informative art treated with the care and affection it deserves in this elegant presentation.
— Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Edited by Alison Fraser. Featuring essays by James Maynard, Lewis Ellingham, Samuel R. Delany, Robert Hershon, and Kristin Prevallet.
Hardcover. 176 pages. Full color throughout.