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JOHN HELIKER, one of the premier figurative painters of the second half of the nineteenth century, was born in Yonkers, New York. He studied painting at the Art Students League from 1927 to 1929. HELIKER had the first of three one-man exhibitions at the Maynard Walker Gallery in New York in 1936, and in the later 1930s he was doing drawings for the New Masses and joined the easel division of the WPA Federal Art Project. When the Maynard Walker Gallery closed in 1941, HELIKER began his long association with the Kraushaar Galleries, where he exhibited his work for more than fifty years. 

HELIKER taught at the Art Students League, the New York Studio School (he was a founding faculty member), and in the MFA Painting Program at Parsons School of Design. His work was exhibited nationally in the major survey exhibitions of the Carnegie Institute, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art’s Abstract Painting in America, and many others. The Whitney Museum of American Art honored HELIKER with a mid-career retrospective in 1968, and he has been included in numerous Whitney Museum annuals and biennials. He was represented at the Bicentennial Exhibition AMERICA: 1976 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC which traveled through the country.

JOHN HELIKER (1909-2000)
Ronda, Spain
Oil on linen, 9 1/8 x 12 inches
Painted circa 1987
DLA-5754


Among the artist’s many awards are the Prix de Rome (1948), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1951), three Ford Foundation Purchase awards, and numerous awards from the National Academy of Design including the Benjamin Altman prizes for Landscape, Figure and Still Life.
Small Bouquet
Oil on masonite, 12 1/2 x 15 inches
Painted circa 1990
Private collection
Maine Landscape with Two Figures and Rowboat
Oil on linen, 21 1/8 x 30 inches
Painted circa 1989
DLA-5752