“The Art of Chess” is Curiouser and Curiouser
by Jesse Dorris | Wednesday, September 5, 2012 | 1 Comment
If we, like Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, are all just pawns on our way to be queens, why not choose a more curious chess set? London’s Saatchi Gallery and RS&A present sixteen options in “The Art of Chess,” running from September 8 through October 3.
The show marks the first time these sets, commissioned from the likes of Maurizio Cattelan, Jake and Dinos Chapman, and Tracey Emin, have been displayed together. It also marks the debut of Deadalive, a set by Tim Noble and Sue Webster in which bronze chess pieces inspired by the artists’ collection of mummified woodland creations move across a hand-carved tree stump.
Materials range from cutting edge (Barbara Kruger’s talking chess set, in which each piece is programmed to ask a question or declare a statement) to the everyday (Paul McCarthy’s set, with Rooks made of a coffee grinder and a ketchup bottle from his kitchen).
The show’s traveled far and wide, including stops in Russian, Australia, the USA, and throughout Europe. And why shouldn’t it? As Alice herself says, “It’s a huge game of chess that’s being played—all over the world—if this is the world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it is!”