Red Squares card game design

Graphic design for a card game by Maccabee Games, based on the analytical philosophy of art set out by Arthur Danto in his book, Transfiguration of the Commonplace.

Players create a series of imaginary exhibitions along the lines of Danto’s thought experiment competing to create the most compelling artistic ideas and narratives based on a single, simple canvas, depicted on “commission cards”.

The cards were imagined as paintings hung in a gallery complete with artwork labels (illegible, except on the card backs). The in-game currency was created to mimic the dots applied to sold artworks.

A quick primer on the theory behind the game:

He proposes an exhibit of identical, yet different, paintings – each a rectangle of uniform red paint. One of these paintings is of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. The artist’s comments note that “the Israelites had already crossed over, and the Egyptians were drowned.” Another red canvas, entitled “Kierkegaard’s Mood,” is a work of “immense psychological penetration” reflecting on Kierkegaard’s description of spiritual turmoil as “a mood, a single colour.” Another painting, entitled “Red Square,” is “a clever bit of Moscow landscape.” The last painting in the exhibition is “a still-life executed by an embittered disciple of Matisse, called ‘Red Table Cloth.’”


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