Saatchi Gallery’s Artist-Designed Chessboards

Saatchi Gallery UK’s current exhibition, “The Art of Chess,” features 16 contemporary artist interpretations of the boardgame.  The works were commissioned by art organization RS&A upon the recognition of a rich historical connection between chess and artists; artists such as Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, and Salvador Dalí famously incorporated their love of the game into their artwork (you can read more about the history of chess within art history on Saatchi’s website). RS&A first commissioned artists Maurizio Cattelan, the Chapman Brothers, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, and Paul McCarthy to produce chessboard art in 2001, and they showed the pieces together a few years later. Since that time, the commission has continued with great ambition, and the resulting artworks – by big-name contemporary artists such as Tracey Emin, Barbara Kruger, and Tim Noble – are now on view collectively at Saatchi through October 3rd.

Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin Chess,” 2003

Damien Hirst, “Mental Escapology,” 2003

Matthew Ronay, “Over There in the Bushes,” 2005

Tom Friedman, “Untitled,” 2005

Barbara Kruger, “Untitled,” 2006


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