Painting the Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp
May 19 – Sept 11, 2016
Corresponding Squares: Painting the Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp, is Tom Hackney’s first solo show in the United States. Hackney is a young British painter who has created geometric abstractions based on the movement of pieces in games of chess. In the case of the present exhibition, they are games played by the celebrated French artist and chess player, Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp once remarked that playing a game of chess was like making a drawing. “The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts,” he explained, “and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chessboard, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem.” In Hackney’s pictures, the beauty in those games is captured and made visible in a single static image. It was Duchamp’s goal to elevate art from a purely visual experience to something more cerebral, an aspiration that Hackney unquestionably accomplishes in these paintings whose beauty is generated entirely by ideas that took place on the 64 squares of a chessboard.
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