World Chess Hall of Fame exhibition
Studio photography for Painted Pieces Exhibition by Michael DeFililppo

The prestigious World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, USA hosted a major exhibition from 12th April – 16th September 2018 entitled “Painted Pieces: Art Chess from Purling London”.  The show, dubbed as “Tradition with a Twist” featured our classic Staunton-design chess sets, hand-painted by twenty celebrated painters, illustrators, sculptors and street artists from around the world.

World's largest chess piece at World Chess Hall of Fame, St Louis
Simon Purkis standing in front of the world’s largest chess piece in the world!
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame

The exhibition included exquisite multimedia Art Chess sets, pieces, boards, and interactive experiences created especially for the World Chess HOF show.

Artists who made their debut with Purling include: street art pioneer Thierry Noir who was the first artist to paint the Berlin Wall; internationally known Mr Doodle with a chess set covered in his ‘Graffiti Spaghetti’; and Lhouette with an incredible Maximalist board and frame. We were also excited to introduce a stunning Marcel Duchamp inspired chess set by Tom Hackney; a set entitled ‘Expand your mind’ by Christiaan Nagel – famous for his mushroom sculptures; a beautiful chess board by London street and studio artist Darren John and a wonderfully eccentric, Space inspired playable sculpture by Andrew Hancock.

Further artworks included in the show were by famous American painter Sophie Matisse; feminist and activist Daniela Raytchev; photorealist Kate Brinkworth; stencil artist DS among other celebrated and thought-provoking artists.

children at an art exhibiton
Visitors at the exhibition.
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame

The themes tackled in this show covers:

  • The #metoo campaign and female equality,
  • Plastics in the ocean,
  • Chance verses strategy,
  • Peace (and chemical warfare),
  • The balance between opposites (creation & destruction),
  • Marcel Duchamp (and retinal art),
  • Nativity,
  • Love,
  • Space,
  • The seasons,
  • Maximalism,
  • Life long learning and more
Masters of the Arts with Bradley Bailey & Simon Purkis.
By World Chess Hall of Fame
Art Chess by Sophie Matisse x Purling London “Alice in Wonderland”
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame
Colm Mullingan and Simon Purkis at Opening Night of the exhibition WCHOF.
Colm Mulligan and Simon Purkis at Opening Night of the exhibition WCHOF.
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame
bright and colourful chess set with mushroom design
Art Chess by Christiaan Nagel x Purling London “Expand Your Mind”
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame

In addition, museum guests were able to play on Purling chess sets in Virtual Reality(!) via our collaboration with video game developer Ripstone. Art Chess sets by artists, Nette Robinson, Olivia Pilling and Mr. Jiver were available to play in spectacular virtual environments including a Roman villa and a volcano. Find out more here.

People playing games on Virtual Reality
VR “Chess Ultra” at WCHOF exhibition. Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame

Alongside the exhibition were several events, such as “Meet the Artist” with Daniela Raytchev and Nette Robinson’s talk and workshop foe specially invited guests to create a unique chess set for the World Chess HOF Collection!

See more about this event in our news story.

Paint a Chess Set evening at WCHOF with Yasser Seirawan
Yasser Seirawan painting a rook at the special artist-led session at WCHOF
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame
Artist Daniela Ratchev with Shannon Bailey at WCHOF
Artist Daniela Ratchev with Shannon Bailey at WCHOF
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame
multicoloured and gold chess set
Art Chess by Lhouette x Purling London “More or Less”
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame

We were delighted to collaborate with the World Chess Hall of Fame on this exhibition. We would like to thank Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, Shannon Bailey, Michael DeFilippo and all the WCHOF team for their wonderful support.

Painted Pieces: Art Chess from Purling London,
Exhibition ran from: April 12th – September 16th 2018.

World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108, USA.
+1 (314) 367-WCHF (9243) | worldchesshof.org
Follow @WorldChessHOF @PurlingLondon

colourful chess set inspired by climate crisis
Art Chess by Nette Robinson x Purling London “Spoils of the Ocean”
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame
blue neon chess artwork
Looking at the Neon Chess.
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame
colourful chess set in an art exhibition
Art Chess by Tom Hackney x Purling London “Retinal Chess”
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame

chess sets made from glass
Visitors at the exhibition looking at “The Glass Ceiling” by Daniela Raytchev and “Chemical Warfare” by T. Raymonzrek
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame
Masters of the Arts interview with Vitaly Neimer & Daniela Raytchev
Masters of the Arts interview with Jennifer Shahade & Nette Robinson
Joy Bray, Rex Sinquefield, Shannon Bailey & Tony Rich at World Chess Hall of Fame
Joy Bray, Rex Sinquefield, Shannon Bailey & Tony Rich
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame

For links to all Purling London videos please click here.

Gwen Camaratta, Daniela Ratchev, Simon Purkis & Colm Mulligan standing by Thierry Noir's Chess set
Gwen Camaratta, Daniela Ratchev, Simon Purkis & Colm Mulligan
Photo credit: World Chess Hall of Fame
a selection of carved chess knights painted by different artists
Studio photography for Painted Pieces Exhibition by Michael DeFililppo

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