© Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst: Mental Escapology, 2003
Cast glass and silver: (king and pawn), Laminated mirrored glass and enamel (Board), Steel and leather (stools), 72 x 72 x 4 cm (board)

The Art of Chess

Damien Hirst
, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Paul McCarthy, Yayoi Kusama, Maurizio Cattelan, Rachel Whiteread, Tunga, Matthew Ronay, Barbara Kruger, Tom Friedman

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.

Exhibition: October 28 - December 23, 2005
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 10am - 6pm

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