The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mattomatt: Chess Pieces by Jürg Hassler at Museum Tinguely
Jürg Hassler, Slaver, 2007. Oak, iron, bones, hemp cord. H: 40 cm; 270 x 300 cm.

BASEL.- Jürg Hassler constructs chessboards and chessmen; he thereby reinvents the old game of chess and gives it back the ludic component that he finds missing in today’s chess game. The basic interest of the game lies in “having no obligation to prove anything to anyone, giving free rein to the pleasure of the game, not in order to win but in order to reinvent ever renewed forms of dialectic contrasts, giving priority to form over colour.”

There are various theories on the origins of chess. India, Persia and China have all been named as having invented the game, and the period of its invention is presumed to have taken place some time between the 3rd and 6th centuries. This explains the complexity of the game that contains elements from various cultures, languages and periods.

In the course of the 15th century, the rules of the game underwent a significant change so that henceforth one may speak of modern chess as it is played today.

Jürg Hassler develops new chess games with the accent on the game and the pleasure of playing, without any obligation to have to prove anything, without any obligation to have to win, but rather to invent ever new shapes of dialectical contrasts, with a decided preference given to shape over colour.

Movement – a crucial factor for Hassler from his filmmaking period – is integrated in his works in the form of chess rules that result in plastic, sculptural modifications.

Despite certain new aspects, the basic features of the game remain the same as those of past centuries: a network of coordinates to enable strategic moves of the figures: foot soldiers, combat elephants, messengers, knights – a game with endless possibilities.

In real combat situations, the generals were relatively safely placed away from the heat of the action. Thus, Hassler starts to shape the chessboard as a terrain with one hill, with two hills, with a river. He soon abandons the strict colour differentiations in favour of other formal distinctions, so that, at the end, the network of coordinates disappears completely from the game board. The figures or players have to orient themselves differently. As a consequence of this step, the traditional chess figures placed on their squares become in part a feature of the system of orientation by themselves adopting the shape of an individual square or part thereof.

The search for confusion grows more and more, though one must be able to play each game. Time is of no consequence. In more recent works, the players are increasingly encouraged to shape the terrain in common and, during the game, to place the figures on their squares so as to achieve a “beautiful” order; thus, depending to one’s understanding of the game and its rules, a chaotic hazard ensues in the formal constellation that may be corrected by the players along aesthetic lines within the relatively narrow context of the game.

The interest lies in the constant exchange between apparent chaos and order, between form and lack of form, and a different, slightly sidelong glance, affords a new way of seeing.

This multi dimensional surpassing of the imaginative powers in order to shape modifiable chess pieces into a landscape or an architectonic composition requires flexibility and a fresh conceptual approach. It further adds to the pleasure of the game, which is Jürg Hassler’s real aim: to free chess from its restrictive and rigid conventions.

Today's News

December 7, 2008

Exhibition of Jenny Holzer's Works From Past 15 Years to be Presented at the Whitney

Yael Bartana Exhibits at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center

Caravaggio Painting Stolen from Museum in Odessa Recovered

Garin Nugroho: Opera Jawa On View at Haus der Kunst in Munich

Overview of Artist Patti Smith's Creative Complexity on View at Artium

Zentrum Paul Klee Exhibits 27 Paul Klee Paintings from the Collection of Kazumasa Katsuta

Kunsthalle Frediricianum Invites Berlin-based Conceptual Artist Daniel Knorr to Exhibit

Life? Biomorpic Forms in Sculpture at Kunsthaus in Graz

Heavy Metal. The Inexplicable Lightness of a Material at Kunsthalle zu Kiel

Mattomatt: Chess Pieces by Jürg Hassler at Museum Tinguely

Sotheby's New York Sales of Important Tiffany and Important 20th Century Design

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Announces Max Ernst: Dream and Revolution

The Hidden Trace. Jewish Paths through Modernity at Felix Nussbaum Haus

On the Enlightened Path: Jain Art from India

Whitney to Present New Video Installation by Alex Bag

Snowy Landscape by Francis Guy Appears on Holiday Greeting Card

Paint Made Flesh Debuts at Frist Center for the Visual Arts in January

Smithsonian's Archives of American Art Receives Grant from Leon Levy Foundation

Calgary Company Announces Not One But TWO Gifts of Public Art by Internationally Renowned Artists

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful