John Heliker: Cranberry Island Years

John Heliker, Clamdigger with Dog, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 inches, 1985 (courtesy
John Heliker, Clamdigger with Dog, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 inches, 1985 (courtesy of Courthouse Gallery Fine Art)

Franklin Einspruch reviews the exhibition John Heliker: Paintings from the Cranberry Island Years at Courthouse Gallery, Ellsworth, Maine, on view through September 14, 2014.

Einspruch writes: "Heliker arrived at his figuration having sampled surrealism at its height in the ‘40s and abstraction at its height in the ‘50s, and having befriended a circle of New York artistic innovators including Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Thus the works he produced on Great Cranberry, despite that some of them could fairly be called New England genre scenes, possess enormous sophistication, a profound contemplation about the nature of art that joins sensitivity, training, and erudition in a manner that hardly anyone calling himself an artist today can match."