Paul Noble


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Year 2008
Medium Pencil on paper
Dimensions 15 x 26 cm

About the work

Figures was made in 2008, a year after Monument monument, a monumental drawing, measuring 600 x 300 cm, that was based on all of Henry Moore’s sculptures. It was one of the components of Noble’s epic Nobson Newtown for which he drew all of the places that he imagined were necessary to make ‘a town’ over an eighteen-year period. Noble went on to produce more drawings in the series in which he, ‘bellmerised’ (after artist Hans Bellmer) the sculptures of Henry Moore. Bellmer’s photographs of artist and poet Unica Zürn bound with string created an abstract morphology that Noble applied to the sculptures of Moore.

About the artist:

Born 1963 Northumnberland, Paul Noble lives and works in London. Graduated from Humberside College of Higher Education, Hull (1986); and Sunderland Polytechnic, Sunderland (1983).

A meticulous and dedicated draftsman, Noble creates dizzyingly elaborate encrypted schemes, drawing from inspirations as diverse as ancient Chinese scrolls and Japanese sculptures, Fabergé eggs and brick walls, eighteenth-century pornography and animal rights literature, Hieronymous Bosch and Öyvind Fahlström. The sheer level of detail in his drawings defies the capacity of the eye to see and the mind to fully grasp them.

His work is held in private and public collections including The British Council, London; Tate Britain, London; and FRAC des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou.

Selected solo exhibitions include Paul Noble: Open Shut, Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds (2018-19); Paul Noble, Gagosian, Geneva (2018); Paul Noble: New Works, Gagosian, San Francisco (2017); Paul Noble: Nobson, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2014); Paul Noble: The Gates, Gagosian Gallery, Athens (2013); Paul Noble: Marble Hall, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle (2011); and Welcome to Nobson, Gagosian Gallery, London (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Summer Exhibition, Cristea Roberts Gallery, London (2020); Print Project Space: New Editions, Cristea Roberts Gallery, London (2020); Politics of Small Places (with Patrick Geddes), Cooper Gallery, University of Dundee (2018); History in the Making, Cristea Roberts Gallery, London (2018); Drawing Biennial 2017, Drawing Room, London (2017); Drawing Now, Albertina, Vienna ​(2015); Body & Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary Art, Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds (2014); Turner Prize Exhibition, Tate Britain, London (2012); Does City/Munster Matter?, Centre of Contemporary Art, Münster (2010); Rude Britannia, Tate Britain, London (2010); and I Am By Birth a Genevese; and My Family is One of the Most Distinguished of that Republic, Forde Espace d’art Contemporain, Geneva (2009).

Awards include nomination for the Turner Prize (2012); and recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Award (2000).

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