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Charles Ginnever


On the table in front of you is a large rectangular sheet of stiff, copper-colored paper -- the color recalls the rich patina we find in Chuck Ginnever’s sculptures. A series of solid and broken lines have been printed on the paper. Together, they form a zigzag going diagonally from one corner to the other. Each series indicates the action that must be undertaken—folding the paper.  Nothing gets thrown away.

Together, both sets of lines form a symmetrical shape that lies diagonally within the rectangle, like a giant too big to sleep on the only bed in the house.  This is the first clue as to what is going to happen after you follow the simple instructions. A planar object – a lightweight portable sculpture with sharp edges – will emerge from the paper’s flat plane.

One of the first things that strikes me about Ginnever’s folded and cut print is that it feels both monumental and delicate, a paradox that compels me to look again and again. You might think of origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, but Ginnever has raised that art to new heights. For one thing, Multus seem to require so little folding, which is not the case with origami. The other fact is that that the object is abstract. Ginnever has fashioned out of a single rectangle a dance between triangles and pyramids that lifts itself gracefully, like a gymnast, into the air.

The tension between the flat plane and the folded form asks us to pay attention to the everyday world we live in, and to recognize that in the simplest things—a flat sheet paper – there exists a possibility simultaneously enchanting and revealing.  At the core of Ginnever’s work exists a state of wonderment.  

Ginnever’s willingness to be surprised by the simplest things is what makes his work so special and exacting. Both literally and metaphorically, there is no other way to make Multus.  It must be what it is.

- John Yau

Charles Ginnever

3-D Etching
12" x 20" x 18"
20" x 18" flat
edition 20