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Apparao Galleries looks to the game of chess for inspiration for its latest exhibit

Of kings and queens and pawns and rooks, the game of chess is a popular onea��with local heroes, like grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, and cultural echoes harking back to the Mahabharatha. And converting it into art form was an idea that had been in Sharan Apparaoa��s mind for years. a�?Over 30 years ago, an artiste had created a chess set out of terracotta andA� Ia��d simply loved it. Then a few years ago, a gallery in London had done one with the famous artiste Damien Hirst. The idea kept speaking to me, pushing me into doing this exhibition, The Art of Chess,a�? says the owner of Apparao Galleries.
With its debut at the Delhi Art Fair in January, the exhibition, which opens in the city on Tuesday, features 20 artistes. a�?While some of them have used the idea literally, in a decorative way, others have taken an intellectual, even provocative, approacha��like Prasanna who used nibs to talk about the battle of words and city-based George K who did several works, including one where all the pieces are white to signify that we never win any battle,a�? she explains.
For the artists, it was a journey of interpreting the chess board in a variety of ways. a�?It is an intellectual game that depends on one sense, sight. I wanted to see how things would change if I altered that reality of recognitiona��if I replaced sight with taste or smell,a�? says George of his five pieces, which de-construct the gamea��like a chess board with sugar cubes (each with a different flavour). For local artiste N Ramachandran, newspapers were his inspiration. a�?We hold them aloft while reading, so the pictures appear vertical. So I made my magnetic chess board verticala��with magnetic piecesa��allowing you to hang it on the wall like a painting,a�? he says, adding that the pieces are finished in gold leaf and newspaper to denote the struggle between society and power.

Check out the others at the gallery, till June 30. Details: 28332226
Surya Praphulla Kumar


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