The Art of Chess

„From my close contact with artists and chess players I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.“


Marcel Duchamp, 1952

The exact origin of chess is unclear but is believed to have originated in the 7th century in India. 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 and is continued into the present with the current artists creating outstanding works of art, each infused with their own signature style. 

On view will be fifteen specially commissioned chess sets designed by the following artists: Maurizio Cattelan, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Oliver Clegg, Tracey Emin, Tom Friedman, Paul Fryer, Damien Hirst, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Paul McCarthy, Alastair Mackie, Matthew Ronay, Tunga, Gavin Turk and Rachel Whiteread. Each set is individually crafted in a variety of different materials including wood, porcelain, glass, amber and silver and packaged to the artist’s specified wishes. 

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. 

The exhibition is presented by the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in collaboration with RS&A Ltd, a London-​based company dedicated to producing innovative projects with contemporary artists.