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The Art of Chess -  - Exhibitions - Luhring Augustine

The Art of Chess
October 28- December 23, 2005

Luhring Augustine and RS&A Ltd, a London-based company dedicated to producing innovative projects with contemporary artists, are pleased to present an exhibition featuring ten chess sets designed by some of the world's leading contemporary artists in a celebration of the game and its continued relevance to the creative arts.

On view will be ten recently commissioned chess sets designed by the following: Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Paul McCarthy, Yayoi Kusama, Maurizio Cattelan, Rachel Whiteread, Tunga, Matthew Ronay, Barbara Kruger and Tom Friedman. Each set, made in an edition of seven, is individually crafted in a variety of different materials such as wood, porcelain, glass and silver and packaged to the artist's specified wishes.

The exact origin of chess is unclear but is believed to have originated in the 7th century. No other game in history has been so widely reflected in art and literature. Due to its conceptual depth and deep roots in civilization, chess remains an intriguing and complex subject for the Artist. The infinite incantations of chess sets throughout history, which have closely followed artistic movements, is a testament to this. The Art of Chess exhibition demonstrates that the game has lost none of its inspirational power in the 21st century and that it continues to be an optimal means for artistic expression.

For example, Rachel Whiteread set out to pursue her love of dollhouses when creating her Modern Chess Set. The set is made up of meticulous casts of the artist's own dollhouse furniture and is packaged in a custom-made games box. The board reflects the overall design with linoleum and carpet squares.

Tom Friedman's chess set is equally intricate and playful setting out to be a mini-retrospective of the artist's best known works including a rook made out of a Crest toothpaste packaging, a miniature portrait of the artist carved out of Styrofoam and a plastic cup full of gravel and made out of Play-Doh. The board itself takes the form of a wooden table and is accompanied by two severed tree trunks as seats.

Barbara Kruger's chess set includes pieces that are mini speakers so that when each one is moved it either asks a question or gives an answer. The conversation has endless possibilities.

The Luhring Augustine show is being presented in tandem with the exhibition The Imagery of Chess Revisited, on view at The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City from October 21, 2005, to March 5, 2006. This is the first major museum exhibition to explore and reprise one of the legendary events in the history of twentieth-century art: the 1944-45 exhibition The Imagery of Chess, organized by Surrealist masters Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst for the Julien Levy Gallery, in New York. The exhibition brings together more than 80 chess sets and chess-themed works by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century. (
For further information please contact: Vanessa Critchell at 1-212-206-9100 or e-mail:


Announcement card
Matthew Ronay Over There In the Bushes, 2005
Tunga Eye for an Eye, 2005
Rachel Whiteread Modern Chess Set, 2005
Paul McCarthy Kitchen Set, 2003
Yayoi Kusama Chess Set, 2003
Jake & Dinos Chapman
Damien Hirst Mental Escapology, 2003
Maurizio Cattelan Untitled (Good vs. Evil Chess Set), 2003
Tom Friedman Untitled, 2005

Installation Views

The Art of Chess, Installation view
The Art of Chess, Installation view
The Art of Chess, Installation view
The Art of Chess, Installation view
The Art of Chess, Installation view
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