||Paul Noble - creator of Nobson Newtown - presents his first major British solo exhibition at the Whitechapel.
The exhibition focuses on Noble’s monumental eight-year project, the meticulous depiction of a fictional city called Nobson Newtown. Noble is a master draughtsman, who makes virtuoso pencil drawings on an epic scale, what he describes as an ‘exercise in self-portraiture via town planning’.
A series of wall sized drawings offer aerial perspectives over a fantastical cityscape that echoes the visionary and utopian ethos of projects such as the Garden City Movement and new towns such as Milton Keynes.
Noble’s new town is not futuristic, but rather bares gothic traces of its own ruin. Each individual drawing depicts a particular building in the town. The artist has created a special font based on the forms of
modernist architecture that he calls ‘3-D Scrabble tiles’ or ‘Lego blocks’. The structure of each building evolves from his writing its name in this font and illuminating it with decorative forms.
Taking us from the hospital (Nobspital) to the cemetery (Nobsend) via the town centre (Nobson Central) or the Mall, what appears as a birds-eye view of urban devastation or ravaged forestry actually conceals citations from Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, Gerard Winstanley’s letters to Oliver Cromwell and T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland.
Drawing from medieval illuminations, ancient Chinese scrolls or contemporary artists like Oyvind Fahlström and Robert Crumb, Noble’s project embodies a complex infrastructure of civil planning,
social policies and historical perspectives.
Alongside a specially conceived installation of the town centre, Noble will also be showing an enormous egg-shaped sculpture (described by the artist as ‘a cross between a Faberge egg and a Grecian urn’), a
black and white film, a reflective mobile of the letter ‘A’ in Nobfont and an embroidered modesty screen. These works revolve around themes of birth, language, religion and ruin.
As the most extensive presentation of Paul Noble’s work to be held in Britain to date, this exhibition will provide a timely portrait of a hugely influential local artist with a growing international presence.
Notes for Editors
· Born in 1963 in Northumberland, Paul Noble lives and works in London. His first exhibition was at the now legendary artist-run gallery City Racing (Noble was co-founder) in 1990 and he began his association with Maureen Paley/Interim Art in 1996. His first exhibition in a public space was at the Chisenhale Gallery in 1999 since when he has had solo exhibitions in Europe and the USA. Major group shows include Abracadabra at the Tate (1999), Manifesta in Ljubljana (2000), drawing now at MoMA, New York, and the Istanbul Biennale (both 2002) and Days Like These at Tate Britain (2003).
· Living and working in the East End of London, his previous associations with the Whitechapel include co-curating (with Mathew Higgs) the exhibition Protest & Survive in 2000.
· This exhibition has been jointly organised by the Whitechapel Gallery, London and migros museum für gegenwartskunst, Zurich where it will be presented from January to March 2005.
· A publication will accompany the exhibition. Price £19.99.
· Paul Noble has produced a Whitechapel Edition to support the Gallery’s programme, priced at £149.99 + VAT.
Open Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm, Thursdays until 9pm.
Admission free. Whitechapel, Whitechapel High Street London E1
Nearest tube Aldgate East.
Tel +44 (0) 20 7522 7888
Recorded information +44 (0)20 7522 7778.
For further press information please contact
Rachel Mapplebeck on + 44 (0)20 7522 7880, 07811 456806, RachelMapplebeck@whitechapel.org
David Gleeson + 44 (0)20 7522 7871 or DavidGleeson@whitechapel.org
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