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Katy Higgins

July 16 – August 19, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 16th, from 4 - 6 pm


Katy Higgins will exhibit photographs from two recent bodies of work: the Empty Exhibit series, which documents the constructed landscapes that form the backdrops of exhibits at zoos, and Herbarium, a series of images of fake plants. Exploring the tension between natural and artificial, both series delve into the human impulse to control the natural world, and the desire to shape, construct, and represent landscapes and living things in idealized ways.

Artist Statement:
“Ever since the ideals of the Enlightenment took root in our culture, Western society has put its faith in the process of scientific inquiry. We believe that unraveling the mysteries of the universe—particularly in regard to the natural world—is a conquerable challenge. We assume that the world is finite and knowable, and that we can understand everything if we ask the right questions. This desire to understand, and the inevitable tension created when our understanding reaches its limits, is at the core of my work.

I see this tension in attempts to reduce the complexity of the world to representations, in a sense, to diagram life. These representations are often educational tools, such as charts in a textbook, or displays at museums or zoos. I am interested in the limits of these representations.

Similarly, I am fascinated by the human impulse to control the natural world, and the desire to shape, construct, and represent landscapes and living things in idealized ways. Just as we believe it is possible to unlock all of the natural world’s secrets through reason and inquiry, so too do we believe in our ability to physically shape it to match our needs. Here again, our powers have limits, and these are the boundaries I seek to explore, highlighting contradictions between “natural” and artificial and between ideals and reality.”


Katy Higgins received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, and BA from Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH. Her recent exhibitions include The Empty Exhibit, Salon Ciel, New York, NY; Hyperreal World: Landscape as Commodity, Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL; Curiouser and Curiouser, Kirkland Art Center, Clinton, NY; Dumbo Art Under the Bridge Festival, Installation at Melville House Publishers, Brooklyn, NY. Her awards include a Kala Fellowship Artist-in-Residence Award, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA, and Artist Residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT, and Dorland Mountain Art Colony, Temecula, CA. Other awards include BCAT/BRIC Rotunda Gallery Video Program, Brooklyn, NY, and BRIC Artist of the Month, November 2009, Brooklyn, NY. You can learn more about Katy's work at www.katyhiggins.com.

This exhibition is funded in part by Price Chopper's Golub Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. The Courthouse Gallery hours during exhibitions are Tuesday through Friday 12 – 5 pm, Saturday 12 – 4 pm, and all other times by appointment. The Courthouse Gallery is located at the side entrance of the Old County Courthouse, corner of Canada and Lower Amherst Streets, Lake George, NY.

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