Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby
October 4, 2013 – December 8, 2013
Wayne Higby (b. 1943) is one of the most innovative second generation artists to come out of the post-World War II American ceramic studio movement. His vision of the American landscape appears in work ranging from vessel forms and sculpture to architectural installations that have brought him national and international recognition. Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby is the first major retrospective exhibition to provide an in-depth critical analysis of the artist’s body of work created during a forty-year period. The exhibition explores the forms, techniques, and firing processes used throughout Higby's career, focusing specifically on his groundbreaking work in raku earthenware as well as his later production in porcelain.
The exhibition will feature more than sixty ceramic objects and drawings from the Arizona State University Art Museum’s collection, the artist’s holdings, and other private and public collections. Since the early 1970s, Higby has explored the fusion of form and surface decoration through panoramic western vistas. These scenic forms are imaginative reinterpretations of the austere Colorado landscape of his childhood. The landscape imagery covers the interior as well as the exterior of the object, creating the illusion of depth. After visiting China in 1991, Higby began using porcelain with celadon glazes and creating thick “rocks” that alluded to the natural environment. During the last decade, Higby has undertaken several ambitious large-scale mural projects. These will be part of the exhibition through photo documentation along with maquettes of these commissions.
Higby is currently a professor and the Robert C. Turner Chair of Ceramic Art at the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University. Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby is organized by Peter Held, curator of ceramics at the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center. The Renwick Gallery is the second stop on a national tour.
Free Public Programs
A series of free, public programs will be presented at the museum in conjunction with the exhibition. Several programs will be webcast; a schedule is available online.
Sunday, October 20, 2 p.m., "Learning from Higby" artist panel
Tuesday, November 5, noon, Infinite Place Gallery Talk
Thursday, November 21, 7 p.m., "Landscapes and Containers: A Conversation"
Friday, December 6, noon, Infinite Place Gallery Talk
A beautifully illustrated monograph, published and distributed by Arnoldsche Art Publishers in Stuttgart, Germany, accompanies the exhibition. It is edited by Peter Held, and includes contributions by Carla Coch, Helen W. Drutt English, Tanya Harrod, Wayne Higby, Mary Drach McInnes, Henry Sayre, and Ezra Shales. The book will be for sale at the museum store ($85).
Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby is organized by the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, Tempe, Arizona, and curated by Curator of Ceramics Peter Held. Major funding is provided by the Windgate Charitable Foundation; with additional support from the Marlin Miller Jr. Family Foundation; The Robert C. Turner Chair Endowment Fund, Alfred University; and the Friends of Contemporary Ceramics. The James Renwick Alliance supports the presentation at the Renwick Gallery.