“Much of my practice locates itself around an intersection of art and chess – specifically, the intersection drawn together by the work and ideas of Marcel Duchamp. As exemplified by Duchamp, both art and chess can be considered in terms of their retinal and non-retinal characteristics. Where the art in ones head can exert its influence over the art before ones eyes, a similar paradigm can be considered in chess. Here, the physical material acts as a visible marker or placeholder for the immaterial development of the game, as played out within the constraining structure of chess; a thought-space shared between opponents.
The set I have designed aims to accentuate this retinal aspect of chess, with the pieces defined by the two primary types of photoreceptor cells found in the eye – cones and rods. As the game progresses the pieces are scattered into disordered configurations and combinations, before being reset into spectral sequence and tonal rank.”
Purling London Art Chess sets are individually hand painted by specially commissioned British and international artists and no two sets are the same. From established figures to rising stars of the Contemporary Art scene, Purling has collaborated with 30 artists to date, including Sophie Matisse, Inkie and Thierry Noir. Complete with a numbered certificate signed by the artist and our deluxe, Birds-eye maple boards; each hand-carved, triple-weighted Art Chess is a miniature sculptural masterpiece.
“When I look at our Art Chess sets, I see a contemporary painting over a three dimensional surface. I want to explore the pieces from every angle, look around them and hold them. As I play Art Chess I see a moving and evolving painting, with opposing colours and sides mixing and integrating. The game of chess is a creative art form in itself and for me, it is perfect to play it with a unique and beautiful set. ”
Simon Purkis, Founder, Purling London