Beyond the Terminating Vista (Rebuild), by Steve Higgins, Halifax
The large sculpture, constructed entirely of building lumber, occupied a space 60 feet long, 20 feet wide and 20 feet high at MSVU Art Gallery. During the six-week construction phase the gallery was open to visitors, who could talk with the artist and his young crew as they worked. Higgins describes this witnessing of his process as a “theatre of labour.” In the second phase the finished work was presented, and at the exhibition’s close it was dismantled and the parts donated to Habitat for Humanity. Monumental yet ephemeral, Beyond the Terminating Vista (Rebuild) formed a collage-like compendium of modernist architectural motifs. Some of these were physically accessible to viewers and others, floating overhead, were available only to the eye.
Jury comments: Courageous of the artist to tackle such a large space. A sophisticated piece, and a bold step in a new direction for the artist. Vantage points from 2 separate elevations were well considered. Laboriousness of the process a key component in the significance of the work. Long, 2-phase exposure (work in progress, then the finished work) achieved effective public impact. Well –presented nomination supported by excellent photographic documentation.
Steve Higgins was born in Spokane, Washington. In 1972 he graduated with a BFA from the University of Washington, Seattle, and an MFA from Wayne State University, Detroit. From 1974 to 2002 Mr. Higgins was a professor at the University of Manitoba School of Art, Winnipeg, and for some time its interim director. Since moving to Halifax in 2003, he has continued sessional teaching at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Mr. Higgins has exhibited since 1972 in North America and abroad. His work is held in numerous Canadian public collections. In 2000, his large charcoal drawings were exhibited at MSVU Art Gallery in Twisted. From 2009 to 2011, a solo exhibition of his graphic works and sculpture circulated in Canada under the title All Things Considered: Thoughts about Cities and History, War and Peace. The exhibition was jointly organized by Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Dalhousie Art Gallery, McMaster University Museum of Art, and Kelowna Art Gallery.