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The Gordian

1965 Thea Tewi Born: Berlin, Germany 1915 marble 24 1/2 x 11 1/4 x 6 in. (62.1 x 28.6 x 15.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Charles K. Schlachet 1969.43 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 49B

Luce Center Quote

“A strong emotion can bring about a new piece.” Tewi, quoted in Alexis, “Thea Tewi,” Art Voices/South, November/December 1980

Luce Center Label

Thea Tewi’s The Gordian was probably inspired by the legend of the Gordian knot, in which a young peasant-turned-king named Gordias tied his oxcart to a post with an intricate knot. People believed that whoever could untie the knot would become king of Asia. The legend relates that, in 333 BC, Alexander the Great released the oxcart and became ruler of many kingdoms. In this sculpture, Tewi carved marble to evoke several intertwined strips of fabric or rope. The title underscores the marble’s permanence and the fact that this “knot” can never be untied.




stone - marble

About Thea Tewi

Born: Berlin, Germany 1915

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