Arion Lyre

87. I Love My Love by Helen Adam, with prints by Kiki Smith

I Love My Love, a ballad by Helen Adam, with 16 prints of her own hair by Kiki Smith, November 2009.

Sample page, I Love My LoveI Love My Love, a ballad by Scottish-born poet Helen Adam, is based on a traditional Celtic interpretation of the Medusa theme. The book features sixteen images by artist Kiki Smith, derived from her own hair.

Helen Adam would have been 100 years old in December 2009. She was a prominent member of the San Francisco literary scene that profoundly altered the course of American poetry in the 1950s and 1960s. Among the avant-garde she was seen as an anomaly, seemingly old-fashioned, but regarded as a direct link to ancient poetic tradition.

In Adam’s unsettling ballad, the bridegroom is first embraced, then ensnared, by his bride’s lavish golden tresses. After he murders her, the hair continues to grow and avenges itself upon the guilty bride-groom, who tried to free himself from the constrictive bonds of love.

Kiki Smith
Kiki Smith

The book is bound in concertina format, in an accordion-fold of eighteen panels. Images of the artist’s hair are printed lithographically in three colors, alternately above and below the text, with the hair flowing outward from the left margin of each panel. The result is an artist book that stretches out flat to over twenty feet. It can be displayed on a shelf or table spread out to twelve feet (or less) in the accordion mode. It can also be viewed two pages at a time as in a conventional codex. The artist’s hair has been used to create a graphic parallel to the poetry.

Read more: "The Making of an Artist Book" by Andrew Hoyem

Sample spread, I Love My Love

The book is 13-7/8 inches square, with 16 printed panels and two blanks, in concertina format. The paper is Mohawk Superfine cover. The type is Scotch Roman, handset, using 24-point for the text and other sizes for display and subsidiary material, printed by letterpress. The graphic art was printed by photo-offset lithography in tri-tone: brown-black, tan, and yellow-orange inks. The boards and box containing the book are covered in Japanese cloth of an iridescent brown, with gold titling.

I Love My Love accordion fold


The edition is limited to 75 numbered copies for sale and 26 lettered copies for complimentary distribution. All copies are signed by the artist. This is an optional publication, outside of the regular subscription series. Subscribers are entitled to a 20% discount. The price is $5,000. Available.

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Edition: The book is a nearly 14” square accordion-fold format, of eighteen panels, with Japanese cloth over boards. The edition is limited to 75 numbered copies for sale, signed by the artist. Price: $5,000

Reserve now and pay offline:

Reserve your copy

Read more:
"The Making of an Artist Book" by Andrew Hoyem

This book will be exhibited in New York City Nov. 6 – 10, 2013 at the Park Avenue Armory IFPDA Print Fair.