about history residency heliker + lahotan news publications contribute contact


John Heliker - Paintings from the Cranberry Island Years

July 23 - September 14, 2014

John Heliker (1909–2000) was a prominent northeast artist who spent summers on Great Cranberry Island. Heliker took great pleasure in island life, and felt more alive and at home on Cranberry, believing he did his best work on the island. In an essay for the exhibition catalog, Martica Sawin said about Heliker’s island work:

Figures, engrossed in routine activities—shucking clams, picking berries, sitting in a sunlit field overlooking the sea—became integral to his compositions. Yet his paintings are less about figures in specific settings than they are recreations of the total sensation of a time and place.

Heliker taught at Columbia University and Parsons School of Design. He was the recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has been exhibited in numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, Philadelphia Museum, and numerous annuals and biennials at the Whitney Museum, which honored him with a mid-career retrospective in 1968.

Opening reception: Wednesday, July 30, 5–7pm
Gallery talk: Wednesday, August 15 at 6pm
Lecture with art historian and critic Martica Sawin & Heliker-LaHotan director Patricia Bailey

(Catalog available on request)

Courthouse Gallery Fine Art 6 Court Street, Ellsworth, ME 04605 courthousegallery.com 207 667 6611

Sketch of a Young Clamdigger 1990, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches
The Boat Ride 1979, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches

Click here to watch the film, John Heliker, The Inner Compass of Certainty.