Chess Tables, 2014
Jim Drain is best known for his work using textiles, specifically yarn, as part of the highly-influential Fort Thunder community in Rhode Island. He was also a member of Forcefield, a collective whose practice combined music, performance, film and installation, and exhibited in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.
For The Bass Projects, Drain produced two chess tables and four chairs, designed to provide a social gathering point for chess enthusiasts in Collins Park. The project is inspired by public chess tables in other urban parks, such as Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass.; Tompkins Square Park in New York City; and the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.
Drain’s chess tables and chairs explore the use of pattern through a complex geometric design that uses steel tubing and terrazzo tiles. Visitors are encouraged to activate the public artwork by borrowing chess (or checker) pieces from the museum’s front desk during museum opening hours.
Jim Drain (b. 1975, Cleveland) lives and works in Miami, Fla. He has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad, with solo exhibitions at the University of Florida; Locust Projects, Miami; and the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin. His work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Drain was one of two recipients of the 2005 Baloise Prize, and was recently recognized alongside Bhakti Baxter for creating some of the “best public art projects in the nation” by Americans for the Arts. Drain and the artist Naomi Fisher run The Bas Fisher Invitational space in Miami.