Local Color Gallery in Belfast will present paintings by the late Howard Rackliffe (1917-1987) as the Guest Artist for May and June. Rackliffe was a painter and poet who was born in Connecticut and developed a deep love of Maine, which was the subject of many of his bold, semi-abstract landscape paintings.
Rackliffe adopted a painterly style that was unique and idiosyncratic yet in dialogue with the modern aesthetics of his day, as characterized by the works of Marsden Hartley, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and Arthur Dove, whom he admired. Despite living a relatively rootless life, his time in Connecticut, New York, and Maine, as well as the people he encountered there, deeply impacted and inspired his work. Rackliffe had many close friendships with a younger generation of Maine artists and his legacy remains strong to this day.
Rackliffe’s work was exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at The Farnsworth Art Museum and Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland. In 2017 on the centenary of his birth, the New Britain Museum of American Art presented a retrospective comprising 60 paintings, spanning the 1950’s to the 1980’s. The paintings were installed in concert with several of his poems.