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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Take a Trip to Washington D.C.: At the Smithsonian: Wayne Higby Retrospective Opens October 4, 2013 at the Renwick Gallery

Wayne Higby's vision of the American landscape appears in ceramic forms ranging from vessels and sculptures to architectural installations that have brought him national and international recognition. Higby (b. 1943) is a leading artist of the contemporary ceramic studio movement. "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 40-year period. 

"Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby" is on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 4 through Dec. 8, 2013. The exhibition 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.

"Wayne Higby has redefined the medium of ceramics and influenced a new generation of artists with his imaginative and evocative landscapes in clay," said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The exhibition explores the forms, techniques and firing processes used throughout Higby's career, focusing on his groundbreaking work in raku earthenware as well as his later production in porcelain. It includes 54 ceramic objects, drawings and architectural maquettes from the Arizona State University Art Museum's permanent collection, the artist's holdings and other private and public collections. The range of objects represents Higby's ongoing investigations into different ceramic forms and includes sculptural landscapes, jars and bowls produced using a raku-firing process and Chinese inspired-porcelain forms glazed in celadon. Two works from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's permanent collection are included in the exhibition: "Temple's Gate Pass" (1988) and "Lake Powell Memory-Winter Rain" (1998).

Higby is a professor and the Robert C. Turner Chair of Ceramic Art at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Since the early 1970s he has explored the fusion of form and surface decoration through the creation of panoramic western vistas. Landscape imagery covers the interior as well as the exterior of his objects, creating the illusion of depth and distance. Higby credits his years growing up in Colorado with instilling a deep appreciation for the natural environment that continues to influence his artwork. 

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