Pictures at an Exhibition

‘Endgame: Duchamp, Chess, and the Avant-Garde’ at Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona

Dorothea Tanning, Chess Tournament at the Julien Levy Gallery, 6th January, 1945, collage with three photographs taken by Julien Levy. ©2016 DOROTHEA TANNING, VEGAP/THE DESTINA FOUNDATION, NEW YORK

Dorothea Tanning, Chess Tournament at the Julien Levy Gallery, 6th January, 1945, collage with three photographs taken by Julien Levy.

©2016 DOROTHEA TANNING, VEGAP/THE DESTINA FOUNDATION, NEW YORK

Pictures at an Exhibition presents images of one notable show every weekday.

Today’s show: “Endgame: Duchamp, Chess, and the Avant-Garde” is on view at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona through Sunday, January 22. The group exhibition, curated by Manuel Segade, “re-reads the history of modern art through the lens of its relationship to chess,” according to the press release. It includes work by such artists as Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Man Ray, Sonia Delaunay, Jean Metzinger, and George Maciunas.

A choice excerpt, included in the press materials, from Duchamp himself on chess:

Now I am content to just play.
I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art – and much
more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in
its social position. The chess pieces are the block alphabet which
shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual
design on the chess board, express their beauty abstractly, like a
poem. […] I have come to the conclusion that while all artists are
not chess players, all chess players are artists.
–Marcel Duchamp. Address at the banquet
of the New York State Chess Association in 1952

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