Endgame: Duchamp, chess and the avant-gardes

Temporary exhibitions

Curated by
Manuel Segade

Endgame: Duchamp, chess and the avant-gardes is an account of twentieth-century avant-garde movements up to the beginning of conceptual art, told from the angle of what appears to be a minor anecdote: the game of chess. Taking Marcel Duchamp's life as our time frame, the exhibition explores the hypothesis that chess was a backdrop to the historical avant-gardes in several senses.

By revealing the ongoing presence of chess throughout a variety of different currents, we are able to observe the shift from the pleasure of play to the analysis of language. It is the path that leads from the Fauvist figuration of the 1910s to the symbolic tradition of Surrealism and finally, to its culmination in art as idea in Conceptual Art, by way of the leading artists of the modern era.

Chess tournament at Julien Levy Gallery, January 6th 1945
Collage by Dorothea Tanning with three photographs by Julien Levy

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Online tickets

Sonia Delaunay. Vestidos simultáneos (Tres mujeres, formes, colores), 1925

In collaboration with:

  • Fundación BBVA