Tom Hackney.

Marcel Duchamp’s works and ideas exert a strong influence on my work.

9 Questions to Tom Hackney

British artist, living and working in London.

What is your art about?

Marcel Duchamp’s works and ideas exert a strong influence on my work – specifically the moment that art begins to migrate from the eye to the mind. This relationship, the balance between the retinal and non-retinal, is apparent in chess, where the pieces stand as material shadows cast by the mental processes that drive the game forward. Duchamp’s chess activity feels to me like very powerful source material in this regard.

Please tell us more about your working process, routine, your studio set up and the way you approach new artworks!

Over the past 8 or 9 years I’ve been working on a series of paintings that transcribe archived records of chess games played by Duchamp. The path of each move is masked and painted, in sequence, on a sized, linen stretcher. As the game progresses, the moves develop and layer across the surface until the composition is fixed by the final move. With this work I am as much a spectator as I am a painter.

What is fertiliser for your work?

The influence of those people who are able to find the heartbeat of your work is very important.

Who or what has recently impressed you?

I recently visited Dia:Beacon, which was quietly spectacular. The train journey along the Hudson is ideal for some decompression in preparation for such a beautiful collection.

Have a beer with an artist of your choice? Whom?

Dinner with Marcel and Teeny, perhaps followed by a game at the Marshall Chess Club (if travelling through time is ok?)

What would you do with five euro found in the streets?

If I was to find a five Euro note on the street in London it would be difficult not to think about a sad symbolism at the moment. I’d pick it up and look forward to spending it in the company of European friends.

What`s your favourite city and why? 

London is home but New York is a special place to visit. I’ve exhibited there a few times and there’s something about the city that seems able to pull certain aspects of my work into focus.

What`s your favourite restaurant and why? 

The Ivy in London for the atmosphere, and because they have two of my paintings in the restaurant.

Do you have any dream projects in mind that you would like to do in the future?

As the series continues to develop it would be interesting to bring together the different elements of the chess work, including the sculptural work that has been gradually accumulating.

Chess Painting No. 101

(Lancel vs. Duchamp, Brussels, 1923)

48 x 48 cm, gesso on linen, 2017

Chess Painting No. 103

(Kmoch vs. Duchamp, Hamburg, 1930)

42 x 42 cm, primer on linen, 2017

Studio View

Chess Painting No. 110

(Duchamp vs. Seibold, correspondence game, 1933)

42 x 42 cm, gesso on linen, 2017

Chess Painting No. 111

(Duchamp vs. Schwarzmann, Paris, 1929)

42 x 42 cm, gesso on linen, 2017

Chess Painting No. 100

(Boas vs. Duchamp, correspondence game, 1935)

32 x 32 cm, gesso & acrylic on linen, 2017

Tom Hackney with a good friend.

All images © Tom Hackney

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