Ginnever: Folded Forms
/ August 23, 2021
/ December 17, 2021
All Day / Christian Petersen Art Museum, Iowa State University
The Charles Ginnever: Folded Forms exhibition examines Charles Ginnever’s (1931–2019) enduring interest in employing sculpture to challenge traditional encounters with environments and build an understanding of place. In public spaces, often surrounded by rigid architectural elements and visual information meant to be taken in and understood in the blink of an eye, Ginnever’s sculptures task viewers to divert their path to explore and take notice of the changing form. Perspectives of the surrounding environment shift as the work of art is viewed from multiple angles. Experimentation with complex perspective is best embodied in the Flat Illusion series Ginnever contributed to throughout his lifetime, beginning with Dante’s Rig in 1964 and continuing through his final Origami maquette series of 2018, which he focused on at the end of his career. Abstracted forms are placed with the purpose of creating an aesthetic experience while viewing. The sculptures come alive through active looking, and are enhanced by rejecting immediate conclusions or understanding.
The Charles Ginnever: Transforming Perspectives exhibition in the Anderson Sculpture Garden, and the Christian Petersen Art Museum exhibition Charles Ginnever: Folded Forms were created in conjunction with each other and provide examples of the artist’s methods in challenging the viewer. In the garden, large-scale public works of art are placed directly into the landscape removing the necessity for a formal pedestal, thus engaging the sculpture in conversation with its surrounding environment of landscaped flora and campus architecture. From early examples of sculpture such as Midas and Fog with flat planes of parallelograms arranged to fool the eye and convey depth, to the Slant Rhyme series of sculptures which dramatically shift in form depending on the angle of view, both illustrate Ginnever’s growth in these methods of human perception over the years.