The Colorado Council on the Arts announces the installation of the Gordian Knot

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The Colorado Council on the Arts announces the installation of the Gordian Knot

DENVER, Colo., June 12, 2008 -- The Colorado Council on the Arts announces the installation and dedication of the sculpture “Gordian Knot by Denver born artist, Douglas Kornfeld. The artwork was commissioned for the Center for Technology and Learning Media Building at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado as part of the Art in Public Places Program. A dedication is planned for the sculpture at 11:00 am on June 26th at the CTLM building on the Colorado School of Mines campus. Light refreshments will be served following the dedication and the public is cordially invited.

"Gordian Knot" is a complex tangle of gleaming stainless steel and is located on the south side of the CTLM Building on the campus of Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. The sculpture, according to the artist, was inspired by the students of the engineering school and an ancient story of Alexander the Great.

In 333 BC, wintering at Gordian, Alexander attempted to untie the Gordian Knot. The legend claimed that whoever untangled the Gordian Knot would rule Asia. Finding no end to the knot, or a way to unbind it, he sliced it in half with his sword. Alexander went on to conquer Asia, fulfilling the prophecy. The term "Cutting the Gordian Knot" is today often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem, solved by a bold stroke. The artist felt that this story and metaphor was an ideal theme for an artwork that would relate to the engineering students and faculty of the CTLM building and the entire school.

The sculpture is approximately eight feet in diameter and was fabricated from over 300 feet of stainless steel pipe. The sinuous, complex tangle of metal pipe, like the original Gordian Knot is without a beginning or end. The artist collaborated with the steel fabricators at Junoworks Studio in Denver. The artist documented the entire fabrication with photos and a time-lapse video that can be viewed on his website,

Douglas Kornfeld was born in Denver and attended George Washington High School and the University of Colorado in Boulder. He has completed two other projects in Denver. Kornfeld has also completed projects in Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas, Maine, Rhode Island, and Washington State. He is currently completing a commission for the City of Boston, Massachusetts this summer.

The Colorado Council on the Arts administers the Art in Public Places Program. All capital construction projects funded by the State of Colorado include a portion of the appropriation to be allocated for the acquisition of works of art. Colorado’s public art collection includes more than 400 pieces of art placed throughout the state for the enjoyment of all citizens. For more information on the AIPP program, contact CCA at 303-892-3802, or browse their web site at


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