Observations: Chess is the name of the game in a new London show
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Saturday 01 September 2012
Chess has featured, famously, in the work of artists for centuries.
In 1923, Marcel Duchamp returned to Paris from the United States and all but abandoned his art practice in favour of chess. Now, an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London is set to bring together chess sets designed by some of the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists. Among those involved are the Chapman brothers, Tracey Emin, Yayoi Kusama, Maurizio Cattelan and Gavin Turk.
Damien Hirst’s set is composed, naturally, of pill bottles and other medical paraphernalia. Rachel Whiteread’s “Modern Chess Set” comprises a board made from squares of kitsch carpet, and dollhouse pieces: miniature items of furniture or household appliances. American artist Paul McCarthyused objects from his kitchen – a coffee grinder, a ketchup bottle – to create his set.
The exhibition also includes a brand new commission by British duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster. Noble and Webster’s woodland chess set (above) is hand-carved from a tree stump, with bronze pieces based on their collection of mummified animals. (The kings and queens are squirrels; the pawns, frogs.)
Though this will be the first time all 16 sets are displayed together, The Art of Chess first opened at Somerset House in 2003, and has since been to the US, Russia, Australia Iceland and beyound, accumulating new sets along the way.
The Art of Chess, Saatchi Gallery, London SW3 (saatchi-gallery.co.uk) 8 September to 3 October
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Record Store Day 2014: Best exclusives coming to a UK independent record shop near you
Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
Misheard song lyrics: Lady Gaga and Ozzy Osbourne's lyrics named hardest to understand
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 PFA Player of the Year: Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard all nominated as Liverpool dominate award shortlist