Jamie Adams, Niagara Notebook
Adams’s approach to the figure is sardonic and strange. Figures have too many arms, legs, and feet, and in several cases, it is difficult to determine which hands belong to which figure. The enigmatic, tangled poses and the brilliant, hot colors suggest a meditation on the mannerist painters of sixteenth-century Florence such as Jacopo Pontormo and Agnolo Bronzino.
Niagara Notebook is part of Adams’s allegory, Niagara Series. The great waterfall is beautiful but dangerous, and the various figures who appear on its shores in the many paintings of the series represent archetypes of American culture who have survived an ordeal with the fall. The figure at right and left is the same Hollywood bombshell, but with blond and black hair. At center, a third figure in the composition gazes out at the viewer. She holds pen to book, as if her role is to record events.