Listasafn Islands


Steingrímur Eyfjörð, Kynjamyndir / Beautiful Move, 2007International Chess Master Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir, Grand Master Helgi Ólafsson and museum director Hafþór Yngvason discusses aesthetic in chess in connection with the exhibition 32 Pieces: The Art of Chess at Kjarvalsstaðir next Sunday at 3 pm.

Awards for brilliance and beauty are customarily awarded for creativity in chess tournaments.  But what is beauty in chess? Is the aesthetic value of a chess game found in the most economic use of the material, where every piece has an essential role like in a chess puzzle or a well made painting, or in an unexpected combination of moves, perhaps with sacrifices of queens and rooks? Are pins, forks or skewers more beautiful than a precise defense, where the power of each piece is used to the utmost? What is the role of intuition and personal expression in chess? Can computers be programmed to play beautiful moves? Has the criteria of beauty changed with time? If so, what is it now? Is there an aesthetic avant-garde in chess, like in art, where breaking the hold of conventional wisdom has a particular value? These are some of the questions that will be discussed on Sunday when the aesthetics of chess will be considered.

Reykjavik Art Museum recently published a catalogue for the exhibition which is now for sale at the museum’s shop. The catalogue has a great selection of images from the exhibition and historical chess boards from other well known artists. Text is written by the curators Larry List and Mark Sanders.

Printed of the web Reykjvik Art Museum, 06.59.2015