MARCEL DUCHAMP: THE ART OF CHESS by Francis M. Naumann and Bradley Bailey
Ready Made Press, 2009, First edition, 133 pp., 7 1/4" X 9 1/2", Hardcover
Fine in near fine dust jacket
Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess is the first major study in the English language devoted to exploring how Duchamp’s activities as a chess player affected his art. Francis M. Naumann’s essay, “Marcel Duchamp: the Art of Chess,” shows that the chronology of Duchamp’s life runs parallel to the various phases of a chess game—from opening, to middle game, to endgame—revealing how various events that he subtly orchestrated resemble the unfolding pattern of a game, one that, insofar as the game of art is concerned, continues to be played. Bradley Bailey’s essay, “Passionate Pastimes: Duchamp, Chess, and the Large Glass,” demonstrates that Duchamp’s identity as a chess player is so thoroughly interfused with his work as an artist that the two activities are aesthetically and conceptually inseparable, an interrelation especially evident in Duchamp’s masterwork, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, 1915-23, better known as the Large Glass (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and in the preliminary study Nine Malic Molds, 1913-14 (Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris). Jennifer Shahade selects and expertly analyzes fifteen of Duchamp’s chess games, which are laid out by Jean Sabrier in a font that replicates Duchamp’s Design for Chessmen (1918).