But first another of Nette Robinson's in yer face-offs.
|© Nette Robinson
There is a stunning art-historical antecedent to this spectacle. I don't mean Easy Rider Peter Fonda, but Dame Elisabeth Frink's Goggle Man goon of 1969.
But we digress. We're off to Tate Modern in search of the two Paul Klee (1879-1940) chess paintings that ejh show-cased in Chess in Art XIV. They have an exhibition Paul Klee: Making Visible. Will it live up to its billing chess-painting-wise? Will it be making visible his chess?
Here's what you won't see, as you may in CiA XIV.
|Schachbrett (1931) i.e Chess board Überschach (1937) [Kunsthaus Zürich] i.e. Super chess
Klee visible at Tate Modern maybe; but chess invisible. However, as with the Daumier last week, there are some other works on show that illuminate the absent chess paintings - the object of our interest today. Let's start with Schachbrett of 1931 (left above) from his "pointillist" period, and look at a couple of related works from the exhibition.
|Hovering (1930) [Zentrum Paul Klee] from here Clarification (1932) [MOMA] from here
In his chess picture Shachbrett he had imposed a stricter discipline; it was not about happy accidents. The dots line up in an 8x8 four-square grid, which the vertical lines (incisions maybe?) do their best to ignore other than by adopting the same north-south orientation. They have their own logic in their spacing and extension - as we discovered five years ago with the help of an analysis by Italian mathematician Roberto Giunti. He revealed that they obey an obscure and complicated perspectival rationale. It looks like they are supported in this by the three sides of a receding shadow box, which, on closer inspection, maybe an echo of those demented kites in Hovering.
The idea of several voices orchestrated together - a musical analogy - is explicit in Polyphony a glorious crescendo in Klee's pointillist period - though don't trust the brash colour in this reproduction from Wiki Commons (they had it upside down as well). By Klee's standards this is quite big at 66.5 cms by 106 cms.
|Polyphony (1932) [Kunstmuseum Basel] from here (orientation corrected)
|Rhythmical (1930) not in show. From here; Factory Town (1933) [Private Collection] From here; Uberschach (1937).
So, to conclude this two part sequence: we have looked at two exhibitions that tantalised us with the promise of some Chess in Art, but which - on that score - disappointed; though only on that score. But, hey, Tate Britain has just unveiled its new refurb and, as we have reported before, they have two chess pics on show. See here and here.
More postscripts whenever more chess-art is made visible.
Chess in Art Postscript: Now You See It, Now You
Chess in Art Index