Yayoi Kusama: Pumpkin Chess, 2003. (© Yayoi Kusama, 2003, courtesy RS&A)

Work / Art

Tremendous artist-made chess sets going on show in London

Marcel Duchamp once said that “while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists” and a new show at London’s Saatchi Gallery will explore this connection between creativity and the Game of Kings. It features16 specially-commissioned chess sets from a ridiculous roster of proper artistic big- hitters – think Damian Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Gavin Turk and Yayoi Kusama – this promise to be a fascinating exhibition. Tom Freidman’s set takes the form of a mini retrospective of his work, Barbra Kruger’s pieces are programmed to talk and Tim Noble and Sue Webster have taken inspiration from their collection of mummified animals.

This is an ongoing project first started in 2001 but this is the first time all 16 have been brought together in one place. The Art of Chess runs from September 8 until October 3.


Yayoi Kusama: Pumpkin Chess (detail) 2003. (© Yayoi Kusama, 2003, courtesy RS&A)


Tim Noble and Sue Webster: Deadalive (Photography by Norbert Schoerner, Courtesy RS&A)


Damien Hirst: Mental Escapology, 2003 (© Damien Hirst, 2003, courtesy RS&A)


Tom Friedman: Untitled, 2005 (© Tom Friedman, 2005, courtesy RS&A)