The Gordian

  • Thea Tewi, The Gordian, 1965, marble, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Charles K. Schlachet, 1969.43

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.

Luce Object Quote

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

Title
The Gordian
Artist
Date
1965
On View
Dimensions
24 1/2 x 11 1/4 x 6 in. (62.1 x 28.6 x 15.2 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Charles K. Schlachet

Mediums
Mediums Description
marble
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1969.43
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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