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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Sculpture: 20th century: Georgia Stele
Georgia Stele

Georgia Stele
Jesús Moroles
Georgia gray granite
82 x 12 1/4 x 8 in. (208.3 x 31.1 x 20.3 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist


Meet Jesús Moroles 17.9MB

"I want my art to be about man touching stone . . ." Jesús Moroles, quoted in Adlmann, Moroles, 2003

In April 1999, Jesús Moroles brought the unfinished Georgia Stele to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He uncovered the sculpture and began to hammer stone chips off of the top, encouraging visitors to join in. Moroles then removed a few more and declared the piece finished, stating that if another chip were removed the sculpture would be a total loss and could never be repaired. This unexpected performance demonstrated Moroles's belief that sculptures are sacred objects that should belong to all people, and not just the artist or a museum. Nevertheless, he claimed creative ownership over the work by declaring that the work was done and could no longer be altered.

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