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This was Richier's last sculpture, and her decision to paint the plaster pieces in bright primary colours signalled a move away from the bleakness and savagery of her earlier work. Yet the mutant forms of these oversized chess pieces suggest horror as much as play. The King brandishes a set of sculptor's calipers. The Queen, which is the largest piece, raises her arms and has a horse-like head, as does the Knight, while the Castle stands on three legs. The bishop - or fool in French chess- is a hunched figure wearing a three-cornered hat.

August 2004