Infinite Place: Wayne Higby

Exhibitions

Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby

January 25–March 29, 2015 in the Grand Gallery

White Terrace Gap ceramic by Wayne Higby


Anyone who has visited the western United States will recognize the imagery of canyons, rock cliffs, and sparkling lakes that world-renowned ceramist Wayne Higby uses as a vehicle for meditating on the intersection of intimacy and immensity.

Higby gained national attention in the early 1970s for innovative raku-fired vessels based on the Colorado landscapes of his childhood. After a visit to China in 1991, his work underwent a dramatic shift. He began working with slabs of glazed porcelain that continued to reference landscape, but as a focal point of meditation.

Grant Holcomb and Wayne Higby“I strive to establish a zone of quiet coherence, a place full of silent, empty space where finite and infinite, intimate and immense intersect,” he says.

A longtime professor at the NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Higby is currently director and curator of Alfred’s Ceramic Art Museum.

He is the recipient of the American Craft Movement Visionary Award from the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, as well as the Master of the Media Award and the Distinguished Educator Award from the James Renwick Alliance, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

This first retrospective of Higby’s work includes 55 ceramic pieces from 1967 through 2012, including his studies for the largest hand-cut architectural installation in the world—the monumental Earth Cloud wall sculpture at SUNY-Alfred.

Infinite Place is organized by the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University Art Museum. It is sponsored in Rochester by the Mabel Fenner Lyon Fund and the John D. Greene Endowment for Contemporary Exhibitions. Additional support is provided by Charlotte & Raul Herrera, Mary Sue Jack & Richard E. Kreipe, Deanne Molinari, Ron & Cathy Paprocki, and Mann’s Jewelers.

Above: White Terrace Gap (1984). Glazed earthenware, raku-fired. Private collection. | Above right: In November 2010, when former director Grant Holcomb (at left) celebrated 25 years at MAG, he was presented with a ceramic by Higby (at right). Lake Powell Memory—Silent Rain is now in the Gallery’s permanent collection.