World Chess Hall of Fame ‘Ladies’ Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess’ exhibition, 2015

World Chess Hall of Fame ‘Ladies’ Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess’ exhibition, 2015

The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) exhibited a thought-provoking show of multi-media chess artwork by twelve world-renowned female artists.  The exhibition, entitled ‘Ladies’ Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess’ presented independent works by artists including Barbara Kruger, Sophie Matisse, Yoko Ono and Rachel Whiteread; and two Purling London Art Chess sets by collaborators, Daniela Raytchev and Crystal Fischetti – who brought their individual artistic interpretations to the game.

Purling chess artist, Daniela Raytchev‘s art offers a rare subjective expression and perception of the world through her figurative and abstract drawings. Much of her works are visual interpretations of the physiological and physical effects of addictions and abuse. Daniela studied at the prestigious Central St. Martins and London College of Fashion.

Raytchev describes her ‘Addictions’ Purling London Art Chess set shown at the exhibition: “This artwork is about the inner conflict between the negative destructive self and the toxic crutches we may hold on to as a result of fear and anxiety (Black pieces) against the self which is loving, positive and nurturing (White pieces).

Each tall black piece illustrates different addiction, ranging from alcohol, drugs, food to shopping, relationships and others. Guarded by spiked pawns that create a wall, uncomfortable barrier from the other world that can be seen. If we remove those, as illustrated on white tall pieces by delicate paintings of everyday objects and sceneries we encounter, we can notice all the little things that make our lives happier and richer.

Both kings are the same, white with spikes, a metaphor to express that people are primarily good, addiction is just an illness they may suffer, that may influence their actions but doesn’t make them bad. You can only win by accepting yourself as a whole.”

Purling chess artist, Crystal Fischetti is inspired by light, speed and space. Her interest in literature, culture, physics and philosophy are evident in her work and she invites the audience to enter worlds of colour.

Fischetti describes her ‘Sun & Moon’ Purling London Art Chess set exhibited at the show: “The concept for this chess is courtship, love and seduction. Each move the players make is an act of seduction. It is intelligent, calculated, elegant, slightly fearful, heated, cool and overpoweringly sexy. The masculine energy of the Sun is represented in the gold and yellow hues on one side of the chess pieces. The feminine energy of the Moon is represented in the silver and blue hues. The meeting of the opposing pieces symbolises their sensual dance and spiritual union. As it is an interactive art piece. The physical appearance at the end of the game describes the eclipse in abstract form. It is different each time for every player.”

At its heart, the World Chess Hall of Fame has a great passion to raise public awareness around the cultural and artistic significance of chess, a game that has historically been male-dominated, but in which women play a central role.  Through its exhibitions and events, it allows viewers to discover ways in which artists through the ages to our present day have used chess as a vehicle to convey political, social, ecological messages and to provoke and encourage dialogue.  The exhibits in Ladies’ Knight tackled themes and issues, such as the concept of beauty, inequality, crime, language, peace and conflict.

For more information, please click the following links:

Ladies’ Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess
Exhibition ran from: October 29, 2015 – May 1, 2016
World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108, USA.
+1 (314) 367-WCHF (9243) |

Further reading: The World Chess Hall of Fame also invited Purling London to curate a solo exhibition: ‘Painted Pieces: Art Chess From Purling London’. This included Art Chess works by 20 artists, including Sophie Matisse, Mr Doodle and Thierry Noir.

(Photographs by Austin Fuller)

Products in this article

No items found.