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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Louis Vuitton + Yayoi Kusama

In less than one month, Louis Vuitton’s much anticipated collection in collaboration with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama will hit stores. Mark your calendars for July 10th and head to one of LV’s retail locations for first dibs on everything from trench coats to high heels ornamented with Kusama’s whimsical dot motifs.

The collection launch was timed to sync up with the opening of Kusama’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, previously at the Tate Modern in London and sponsored by the luxury brand.  The retrospective highlights Kusama’s work, spanning an impressive a variety of media. Recently, the artist has focused on creating “installations that immerse the viewer in her obsessive vision of endless dots and nets or infinitely mirrored space.”

Marc Jacobs, in a video interview on the collaboration’s microsite, states that one of his motivations for entering into the partnership was to “bring the work of Kusama to still yet another audience, the audience of Louis Vuitton…there will be a new venue, a new place to see this work, and to come to appreciate it, through the eyes of Vuitton”. A collector himself, Jacobs has a long history of supporting Contemporary Artists through similar partnerships in the past, including LV collaborations with Takashi Murakami (which, it can be argued, sparked a surge of designer/artist partnerships in the luxury market landscape), Richard Prince, and Stephen Sprouse.

With all the hyped-up media buzz around this collection, it is bound to sell out fast. If you can’t get to a store in July, additional items such as leather goods will be released in October.

A look from the Infinitely Kusama collection

I die for these shoes!

The artist

Flowers that Bloom at Midnight, 2009 at Gagosian Gallery

Installation at the Tate Modern as part of Kusama’s 2012 retrospective