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  • Provenance

    Luhring Augustine, New York

  • Exhibited

    NewYork, Luhring Augustine, The Art of Chess, October 28 – December 23, 2005

  • Literature

    B. Eskin, “The Plaster-Filled Eggshell Gambit,” The New York Times, October 16, 2005

  • Catalogue Essay

    Tom Friedman’s intensely thought-out yet playful chess set functions as a mini-retrospective of the artist’s best known works including a miniature portrait of the artist carved out of Styrofoam and a plastic cup full of gravel made out of Play-Doh.The board is a wooden table and is accompanied by two severed tree trunks as seats, with a six-pack of Busch beer nearby, presumably for use by players.The present lot was created for The Art of Chess, a group exhibition that included artists such as Damien Hirst,Yayoi Kusama, and Jake and Dinos Chapman. Friedman’s work stood apart, as is typical of the artist’s oeuvre, by following only his own rules.
    Tom Friedman said he meant to make something “semi-dysfunctional.” His self-referential set-a sharpened pencil, a toothpaste box, a toppled plastic Staunton king as a pawn – is a tabletop retrospective of his own philosophically playful oeuvre, and no two pieces are alike. “Most of the chessboards that I’ve seen have been thematic – good versus evil, an aesthetic consistency,” Mr. Friedman said. “I wanted to completely break that apart." Mr. Friedman weaned himself from a four-year-long obsession with online chess.
    B. Eskin, “The Plaster-Filled Eggshell Gambit,” The NewYork Times, October
    16, 2005

  • Artist Biography

    Tom Friedman

    American • 1965

    Tom Friedman is a multimedia artist working mainly in sculpture and works-on-paper. Interested in looking at the thin line between fantasy and autobiography, Friedman often creates works that push viewers into a complicit state of witnessing. His sculptures are composed of a multitude of objects, and he assembles them in such a way as to transform the mundane into an intricate work of art. He combines materials such as Styrofoam, foil, paper, clay, wire, hair and fuzz through a labor-intensive practice that seeks to tell a story, whether about himself or the world at large.

    Friedman's approach to autobiography is not memoiristic. Rather, he takes the smallest moments of his life, like a piece of paper found on the street, and blows it out of proportion.

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Walnut, maple, pine, cardboard, aluminum, paint, plastic, Play-doh, glue, acrylic resin, a booger, styrofoam, paper, beer, felt, lead, silver, bronze, and other metals, pillow stuffing, flock, plaster, candy, ink, acetycylic acid, hair, rubber, wire, acetate, gum, varnish, and glass.

Approximately 77 x 78 1/2 x 56 in. (195.6 x 199.4 x 142.2 cm) overall.

This work is from an edition of seven and is accompanied by a custom designed instruction manual provided by the artist’s studio.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Contemporary Art Part I

13 Nov 2008, 7pm
New York