Tim Noble and Sue Webster

United Kingdom 1966

Installation, Sculpture


Tim Noble and Sue Webster
Tim Noble and Sue Webster
United Kingdom
November 29, 2014
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

Timothy “Tim” Noble and Susan “Sue” Webster, are two British artists who work as a collaborative duo, and are associated with the post-YBA generation of artists. Tim Noble and Sue Webster take ordinary things including rubbish, to make assemblages and then point light to create projected shadows which show a great likeness to something identifiable including self-portraits. The art of projection is emblematic of transformative art. The process of transformation, from discarded waste, scrap metal or even taxidermy creatures to a recognizable image, echoes the idea of ‘perceptual psychology’ a form of evaluation used for psychological patients. Noble and Webster are familiar with this process and how people evaluate abstract forms. Throughout their careers they have played with the idea of how humans perceive abstract images and define them with meaning. The result is surprising and powerful as it redefines how abstract forms can transform into figurative ones.

Parallel to their shadow investigations, Noble and Webster have created a series of light sculptures that reference iconic pop culture symbols represented in the form of shop-front-type signage and carnival shows inherent of British seaside towns, Las Vegas and Times Square. With the aid of complex light sequencing these signs perpetually flash and spiral out messages of everlasting love, and hate.

Noble & Webster have created a remarkable group of anti-monuments in their eighteen-year career, mixing the strategies of modern sculpture and the attitude of punk to make art from anti-art. Their work derives much of its power from its fusion of opposites, form and anti-form, high culture and anti-culture, male and female, craft and rubbish, sex and violence.

In 2009, Noble & Webster were awarded Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Art at Nottingham Trent University in recognition of their contribution to contemporary British Art and their radical influence on younger generations of artists. In 2007, they were awarded the ARKEN Prize at Arken, Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen for outstanding contribution to the international scene of contemporary art, in the same year their critically acclaimed project Polymorphous Perverse at the Freud Museum was nominated for the prestigious South Bank Prize.

Toxic Schizophrenia (Hyper Version) their first permanent public sculpture was unveiled at Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, May 2009. Previously the public art installation Electric Fountain, was exhibited at Rockefeller Plaza, New York, February 2008. In 2009 the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery selected The Head of Isabella Blow for inclusion to its permanent collection.

Since their first solo show in London, British Rubbish in 1996, Noble & Webster have enjoyed international recognition with solo exhibitions at Rockefeller Plaza, New York, 2008, The Freud Museum, London, 2006, CAC Malaga, 2005, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2004, P.S.1/MoMA, New York, 2003, Milton Keynes Gallery, UK, 2002, Deste Foundation, Athens, 2000 and The Chisenhale Gallery, London, 1999. Their work was included in Statuephilia—Contemporary Sculptors at The British Museum, London in 2008–09 and in the exhibition Apocalypse—Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art, at The Royal Academy, London, 2000.

Their work is in the permanent collections of the AISTHI Foundation, Beirut; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Artis-François Pinault, France; Berengo Studio, Venice; The British Museum, London; Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens; Es Baluard Museum, Palma, Spain; The Goss-Michael Collection, Dallas; Honart Museum, Tehran, Iran; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; National Portrait Gallery, London; The Olbricht Collection, Berlin; Project Space 176–The Zabludowicz Collection, London; Saatchi Collection, London; Samsung Museum, Seoul, Korea; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014What Marcel Duchamp Taught MeFAS Contemporary, LondonGroup
2014Pop Sculpture - Pop CultureLeila Heller Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2014The Space Where I AmBlain|Southern, LondonGroup
2013Viewing RoomAll Visual Arts, LondonGroup
2013Glasstress 2013 / 55th Venice Biennale of Art, Collateral EventPalazzo Cavalli Franchetti, VeniceGroup
2013The System of ObjectsDeste Foundation for Contemporary Art, AthensGroup
2013The Big PictureStills Gallery, Sydney, NSWGroup
2012Nihilistic OptimisticBlain|Southern, LondonSolo
2012Memories of the future, The Olbricht CollectionLa Maison Rouge, ParisGroup
2012Metamorphosis: The Transformation of BeingAll Visual Arts, LondonGroup
2012The Art Of ChessThe Saatchi Gallery, LondonGroup
2012Wonders – Masterpieces From Private Collections In DenmarkKUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, AalborgGroup
2012The Artists’ Postcard ShowSpike Island, BristolGroup
2011Turning the Seventh CornerBlain|Southern, BerlinSolo
2011Art Talks & Sensations. The Island / a Game of LifeGallery One - Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu DhabiGroup
2011Burning, Bright: A Short History of the Light BulbThe Pace Gallery - 545 West 22nd Street, New York City, NYGroup
2011PhantasmagoriaFama Gallery, VeronaGroup
2011Peeping TomKunsthal KAdE, AmersfoortGroup
2011Born After 1924Castlefield Gallery, ManchesterGroup
2010PLEASE WritePosted, LondonGroup
2010Psychoanalysis: The Unconscious in Everyday LifeScience Museum, LondonGroup
2010Look Up! Natural Porto Art ShowLook Up! Natural Porto Art Show, PortoGroup
2010Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou CollectionNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYGroup
200920 Modern ClassicsTriumph Gallery, MoscowSolo
2009DistortionGervasuti Foundation, VeniceGroup
2008Tim Noble and Sue WebsterGoss Michael Foundation, Dallas, TXSolo
2008Father Frost LivesTriumph Gallery, MoscowGroup
2008StatuephiliaBritish Museum, LondonGroup
2008The Library of Babel / In and Out of PlaceZabludowicz Collection London, LondonGroup
2008END GAME - British Contemporary Art from the Chaney Family CollectionMFAH - Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2007Pop Art is…Gagosian Gallery, LondonGroup
2007An ArchaeologyZabludowicz Collection London, LondonGroup
2007Sign LanguageDes Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IAGroup
2007IMAGES OF MAN todayARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, IshojGroup
2006Polymorphous PerverseFreud Museum, LondonSolo
2005Tim Noble & Sue Webster - The Glory HoleBortolami, New York City, NYSolo
2005Tim Noble & Sue Webster - The New BarbariansCAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, MálagSolo
2002Tim Noble & Sue Webster - Ghastly ArrangementsMilton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, BuckinghamshireSolo
1998Tim Noble & Sue Webster - WowStuart Shave / Modern Art, LondonSolo