Infinite Place: Wayne Higby


Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby

January 24–March 29, 2015 in the Grand Gallery


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.

Currently chair of the ceramics department at SUNY-Alfred, 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.

Higby 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.

Above: Green Terrace Canyon (1975). Collection of Marlin and Regina Miller. | 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.