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July 6 - August 4

250 Bowery, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012 + Google Map

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 6, 2024, 5–8 PM

Howl! Arts | Howl! Archive is pleased to present Summer Time by Helen Oliver Adelson, featuring paintings made within the last three years. In her vivid portraits, intimate nudes, and townscapes, she delves below the surface of her subjects to uncover inner mysteries, emotions, and tensions.

Oliver’s gestural line and the deeply felt presence of the sitter create “images [that] vacillate between the hallucinatory, bordering on Surrealism, and a raw pragmatic quality that makes them appear utterly truthful,” says David Ebony. Her joyous, bohemian character imbues her paintings with an imaginative inner narrative, and style that goes beyond any affiliations to contemporary art trends, schools, or movements. An air of whimsy permeates some of her portraits, while languid nudes stare frankly into the viewer.

Since the late 70s, Helen Oliver has been an integral part of the artistic and performance-art scene of the Lower East Side, tapping into the personalities of the vanguard and rendering oil paintings of artists, musicians, filmmakers, and writers including John Kelly, Hapi Phace, Penny Arcade, Lenny Kaye, Louie Cartwright, Kembra Pfahler, Samoa, and Brian Damage. She is also well known for her stage-set design, especially for her brother Edgar Oliver’s plays, many of which premiered at La MaMa.

She was a founder of Pompeii Gallery on 10th Street (and later Forsyth Street) in New York City in the mid 1980s. She has exhibited in New York, Paris, and Lucerne, and has painted three rooms at the Carlton Arms Hotel. Originally from Savannah, Georgia, she moved to New York City in the late 1970s after studying in Paris and receiving a B.A. from George Washington University in Washington D.C. She now spends more of her time in Tarquinia, Italy, where she makes her home, although she visits New York seasonally.

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