Charles Ginnever

AMERICAN, BORN 1931

Throughout his career Charles Ginnever has been interested in creating works whose visual complexities belie the relatively simple forms they first suggest. Many of his sculptures are bold, geometric sets of interconnected steel planes that seem to vacillate between flatness and cubic volumes as the viewer moves around them. In a sense, Ginnever invites the viewer to meditate on the nature of perception.

Fayette: For Charles and Medgar Evers is named for two brothers who were prominent leaders in the civil rights movement. Medgar was killed by a sniper in 1963. Charles continued their work and was elected mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, in 1971. Ginnever made this sculpture that same year, taking part in public art’s long tradition of honoring important people and commemorating heroic achievements and allying him with the aims of the civil rights movement.

Prospect Mountain Project honors David Smith, a pivotal figure in the history of modern sculpture and a central presence in the Storm King collection. The work was first exhibited as part of Prospect Mountain Sculpture Show: An Homage to David Smith, a 1979 exhibition near Smith’s home in Bolton Landing, New York, which featured works by artists including Mark di Suvero and Isaac Witkin. The piece consists of three steel structures, each resembling folded paper objects, arranged to give an impression of delicate balance. Ginnever’s work, like much of Smith’s, draws inspiration from Cubism and explores the ambiguity between perception and reality.

Charles Ginnever
Fayette: For Charles and Medgar Evers, 1971
Weathering steel
7' 10 ½" x 16' 10" x 18"

Charles Ginnever
Fayette: For Charles and Medgar Evers, 1971
Weathering steel
7' 10 ½" x 16' 10" x 18"
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation

Charles Ginnever
Prospect Mountain Project (For David Smith), 1979
Weathering steel
8' x 14' x 12' 4"

Charles Ginnever
Prospect Mountain Project (For David Smith), 1979
Weathering steel
8' x 14' x 12' 4"
Purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation