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Tom Hackney

Tom Hackney and his hand painted chess set

Tom Hackney (b. 1977, UK) lives and works in London. Painting forms the basis of Hackney’s art practice, as mode, vessel and historical narrative. Often generated in response to specific historical material, Hackney’s work incorporates existing forms and structures which are restates as a means of exploring more contemporary stakes. Since 2009, Hackney has been working on an ongoing series of Chess Paintings, which follow the constituent moves from the archival records of games played by Marcel Duchamp.

Tom Hackney hand painted chess set WCHOF

“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.”

Tom Hackney


We are delighted to be able to offer a bespoke service for our Art games. If you would like to enquire further about commissioning Tom Hackney to create a unique hand-painted Art Chess, Backgammon, Checkers or Chutes/Snakes & Ladders set specially for you, please get in touch via our Contact Form below.

Tom Hackney hand painted chess and Chess Paintings 100 and 111


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