Board to death
Unable to complete their game of chess because they cannot move their arms from within their sleeveless robes, Death and his adversary slouch dejectedly near a mountain precipice. The striking juxtaposition of bright diagonal blue sky and somber thematic content accentuates the piece’s eccentric mix of poignancy and Dada. By wrapping the figures in hooded robes, the artist neatly avoided the challenges of depicting the human form.
The anonymous painter of this work firmly shut the door on all normative painterly decisions about composition, color, texture, symbolism, metaphor and most other preoccupations that attend the conventional modernist role of the artist as the privileged purveyor of an intuitive creativity shepherded by a genius recourse to tact and taste.
From the competition for writing an inspired title and analysis for an awful painting from the Museum of Bad Art. Here’s the painting.