tumblr_m68497bl6Z1rwl0c9o1_1280Marcel Duchamp e Man Ray no filme Entr’acte de René Clair (1924)

“All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with winning or losing this game of chess.”

Marcel Duchamp




cri_000000229288Max Ernst . The King Playing with the Queen (original 1944 / cast 1954)

“In this sculpture, a horned king towers over a conical queen and a sextet of infantry. Ernst first displayed the plaster version of this sculpture in The Imagery of Chess, a 1944 exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. The conflict and hierarchy inherent to chess may have served as an allegory for World War II, which had driven Ernst into exile in the United States. Or, as Ernst’s wife, the artist Dorothea Tanning, later wrote, a hypothetical king and queen playing a game involving kings and queens – there is no end to the interpretations that could be put upon such a situation.”

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)



2007-7-1(1--31)-pmaJulien Levy . Chess Set: Board and Thirty Pieces (1944)

“Art dealer Julien Levy made the plaster prototypes for this chess set in the garage studio of a house on Long Island that he and his wife shared with artists Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning during the summer of 1944. The round-bottomed pieces – formed using discarded shells from soft-boiled eggs as molds and stored in an egg carton – were intended to nestle comfortably in the sand of the nearby beach. For use off the beach, Levy made a plaster chessboard, basing its overall size and thickness on Alberto Giacometti’s 1932 marble sculpture On ne joue plus (No More Bets). He inserted seashells into the wet plaster to accommodate the shape of the pieces and to reference the set’s original function. These oak chess pieces, which are based on the original plaster prototypes, were likely made by a local carpenter. Levy was inspired by the experience of designing and making this chess set to commission thirty-two artists (the number of chess pieces in a set) to invent their own chess pieces and boards for an exhibition at his Manhattan gallery. This show, called The Imagery of Chess, opened on December 12, 1944.”

Philadelphia Museum of Art


2001-62-1504-pmaFotografia por International News Photos (Nova Iorque, 1945)

“At The Imagery of Chess Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning play with a Max Ernst chess set on an unidentified table. Near the window, Muriel Streeter (Levy) plays Julien Levy with the Josef Hartwig 1923 Bauhaus Chess Set. Between them hangs a Xenia Cage mobile. On the wall a small unidentified painting hangs above Marcel Duchamp’s Pocket Chess Set with Rubber Glove. On the pedestal below it sit two unidentified sculptures, possibly by Ossip Zadkine. On the wall above Dorothea Tanning is Leon Kelly’s The Plateau of Chess.”

Philadelphia Museum of Art


1950-134-62-pmaMarcel Duchamp . The King and Queen Traversed by Swift Nudes at High Speed (1912)

“I am all set to become a chess maniac. I find everything around me transformed into Knight or Queen and the outside world holds no other interest for me than in its transposition into winning or losing scenarios.”

M. Duchamp to Louise and Walter Arensberg, 15 and 20 June 1919 (Selected Correspondence)


shigeko_kubota_duchamp_cage_chessFotografia por Shigeko Kubota (Toronto, 1968)

“All that is teaching, school, followers, never interested me and still doesn’t. (…) Artists or not, we can’t help our fellow men. Each individual fends for himself. I don’t believe in the ant-hill society of the future. I still believe in the individual and every man for himself, like in shipwreck.”

Marcel Duchamp



1.d4 Cf6 2.c4 e6 3.Cc3 d6 4.e4 b6 5.f4 Bb7 6.Bd3 Cbd7 7.Cf3 e5 8.d5 g6 9.O-O exf4 10.Bxf4 Bg7 11.e5 dxe5 12.Cxe5 O-O 13.Dd2 Cxd5 14.CxCd7 CxBf4 15. CxTf8 Bd4+ (0-1)

George Koltanowski / Marcel Duchamp (Torneio Internacional de Paris, 1929)