White pawn to f3. Palms are sweaty. Black pawn to e5. Knees weak, arms are heavy. White pawn to g4? Vomit on his sweater already. Black Queen to h4, Checkmate...Mom’s Spaghetti!
For his second solo exhibition with the gallery, dutch artist Jordy van den Nieuwendijk presents a new body of work, adopting its title from the chess term in which a checkmate is delivered after the fewest possible moves –– often on move two with the Black queen and only occurring if White commits an extraordinary blunder.
Though it seems that chess is a set game with set rules, there are in fact many variations all of which follow a pattern –– the game is one of movement and capture played on a symmetrical surface, as different shaped pieces move in various ways to trap their opponent. These ideas of variation, pattern and movement are explored in all the new paintings.
Throughout the featured works the artist humorously engages with the game of chess presenting a cast of imagined figures formed of chess players, pieces and moves. The images convey movement around the subject by playing with perspective and scale as familiar motifs are revisited, and new ones introduced. Akin to the ticking chess clock, the works also capture a sense of time evoking the stress and anxiety associated with rapid blitz and bullet games, as well as the moments when time stands still as the next move is contemplated.