The Art of Chess at Saatchi Gallery

Yayoi Kusama, ‘Pumpkin Chess.’ 2003. © Yayoi Kusama, 2003. Courtesy RS&A.

Sixteen one-of-a-kind chess sets have been created by leading international contemporary artists – including Damien Hirst and Yayoi Kusama – for an exhibit opening today at London’s Saatchi Gallery.

The Art of Chess is celebrating the ‘game of kings’ and its relevance in the world of modern art. Creative individually-crafted chess sets have been created using atypical materials like porcelain, wood, glass, amber and silver.

Sets have been realized by Maurizio Cattelan, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Oliver Clegg, Tracey Emin, Tom Friedman, Paul Fryer, Hirst, Barbara Kruger, Kusama, Paul McCarthy, Alastair Mackie, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Matthew Ronay,Tunga, Gavin Turk and Rachel Whiteread.

Highlights include Noble and Webster’s hand-carved tree stump with bronze pieces (inspired by mummified animals). Kruger has made the first ever talking chess set with pieces programmed to ask questions or make statements, while Hirst’s set is made of glass and silver casts of medicine bottles that act as pieces.

The show can be visited until 3 October at London's Saatchi Gallery.

Saatchi Gallery
Duke Of York's HQ, King's Road
SW3 4R, London

Liked this article?
We've got more for you

Sign up to our newsletter for weekly updates. Or view the archive.