This Chess art exhibition took place at The Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland from January until May.

There were 15 unique Chess sets. Here are short synopses from the information page:

Muarizo Cattelan: The King on the black side is Adolf Hitler, the white side Martin Luther King. Pawns include Donatella Versace, Rasputin and General Custer (black) and Superman, Mother Teresa and Sitting Bull (white).

Jake and Dinos Chapman: Post-apocalyptic adolescents, white with blond-styled haircuts and black with Afro hair.

Oliver Clegg: An exact replica of Sigmund Freud’s desk and chair made in wood and leather.

Tracey Emin: Bronze pieces modeled in clay and all over the set are mono-prints and hand written texts in ink on fabric.

Tom Friedman: A pawn in the form of a tiny steel ball bearing or miniscule self-portrait carved out of Styrofoam. Larger objects such as a modified Crest toothpaste carton and a can of defunct Busch beer.

Paul Fryer: Chess pieces made from Tesla coils.


Damien Hirst: Medicine bottles in silver and glass with modified labels on each side. The labels for all pieces are either etched or sand blasted while the board is made from mirrored glass displaying the biohazard sign throughout and placed upon a freestanding surgical trolley with accompanying white leather dentist chairs.

Barbara Kruger: An audio chess set where each piece on the board is a miniature speaker. Every chess piece contains a series of different audio recordings from classic Kruger questions such as “What time is it?’ and ‘What’s up with your hair?’ or Kruger announcements like ‘You feel comfortable losing,’ or ‘You can’t be serious’.

Yayoi Kusama: Hand-painted porcelain pieces and board covered in brightly colored red and black spots on a white and yellow background. Housed in its own leather pumpkin case.

Paul McCarthy: Random objects chosen from the contents of his kitchen: a ketchup bottle and rubber duck, either recast to look identical to the original found object or an identical item.

Alastair Mackie: Each piece encapsulates a single suspended insect. The ‘white’ pieces are represented by flying insects and the ‘black’ side by ground based insects. So, for example, the ‘white’ knight is represented by an exotic wasp and the ‘black’ king, by a scorpion.


Matthew Ronay: Cast in bronze and then hand painted, the pieces range from pink and blue cup cakes as the King and Queen on the white side to two marijuana joints as King and Queen on the black side, one with tobacco as in the European style and the other without. The pawns appear in the guise of pizza slices, one side with pepperoni and the other side in plain cheese.

Tunga: 32 teeth in the head and 32 chess pieces on a board. Incisors, canines and molars transformed into pawns, bishops and rooks respectively.

Gavin Turk: A film approximately 14 minutes long showing Gavin, dressed in Turkish costume complete with Turban (as the Mechanical Turk), executing the Knight’s Tour with one hand in a mechanical fashion.

Rachel Whiteread: Identical copies of original miniature chairs and kitchen units, the two sides creating an opposition between utilities and furnishings.

(more pics)