GRIMM is pleased to announce Blind Lion, the first solo exhibition of Adam Helms (1974, Tucson, US) in the Netherlands.

The title of the exhibition is derived from one of Helms’ most recent works. It refers to ‘Marjan, Blind Lion of Afghanistan’, one of the two surviving animals in the Kabul Zoo at the time of the US invasion in 2011, after being disfigured by Taliban fighters, attempting to wrestle the lion. Marjan was left wounded, deaf and blind and became a symbol for a country savaged by the duel forces imperialism and fundamentalism.

Helms sees himself as an archivist, collecting and cataloging seemingly random images, ‘coding’ and ‘re-coding’ them in drawings by layering, recombining and distorting them into new and iconic forms that are undefined yet recognizable.




Adam Helms


Charcoal on rice paper

152.4 x 91.4 cm | 60 x 36 in


Adam Helms

Adam Helms (1974 Tucson, US) is primarily known for exploring the visual motifs underlying images of subcultures, symbols of violence and historical archetypes. Through the assembling, archiving and appropriating of mass-mediated and internet-sourced photographic material, Helms has investigated notions of the performed identities of opposition groups, notions of the heroic versus the anti-heroic and aspects of tropes surrounding masculine identity.