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Artists on the Verge of a Breakthrough

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Detail from NFA-NorthEastCompany (2004), by Adam Helms  

Adam Helms
Conceptual Draftsman
Meet the New Frontier Army, a fictional guerrilla group. Inspired by Chechen-rebel Websites and frontier paintings, Helms “documents” the Army’s buffalo-worshiping members in pencil-and-gouache drawings. The Tucson native studied with Mel Bochner at the perpetually hot Yale M.F.A. program and is represented by Sister in L.A. (an offshoot of ACME); he’s appeared in group shows at Feigen Contemporary, Lehmann Maupin, and Nicole Klagsbrun. Major collectors have been drawn to Helms’s insurgents, including New Museum board member John Friedman, Craig Jacobson, Klaus Kertess, and artist Slater Bradley. At “Greater New York,” Helms will show a hideout littered with M-16s. “It’s about empire-building, the push across the continent,” he says.


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