(AMERICAN, 1931-2019)

Crete, 1976–78
COR-TEN steel
637 x 196 x 139 inches
Laumeier Sculpture Park Collection, gift of Adam and Judy Aronson

Named after a Greek island, Charles Ginnever’s Crete, 1976–78, is one of ten steel sculptures from his Hellenic series. Ginnever titled each sculpture in the series after a Greek place, person or myth, with the intention for each design to be as long-lasting as ancient monuments. Crete’s angular structure offers an unexpected merry-go-round fluidity. Teasing the notion of perspective, the piece evolves into different configurations as the visitor encircles the piece—one triangular form closes just as another one opens. Ginnever attributes our ideas on perspective as constructed around a three-point diminishing perspective. With Crete, he focuses on an eastern way of viewing in which forms unexpectedly change as you walk around them.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Look, But Do Not Touch


Charles Ginnever was born in 1931 in San Mateo, California. He received his B.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1957 and his M.F.A. from Cornell University in New York in 1959. Ginnever has shown work in numerous exhibitions at institutions including Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Art; the Indianapolis Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Seattle Art Museum. His work is also represented in the collections of the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.