Collaborative art duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster present their first New York solo show since 2008 in the form of Blind Painting. The duo, best known for their light sculptures and their shadow portraits created by piles of scrap material and discarded waste with strong light projected on them to create recognisable shadows, have moved into a new medium for this latest exhibition at The Suzanne Geiss Company. Tim Noble and Sue Webster, part of the post-YBA (Young British Artists) generation have created a series of works for Blind Painting by allowing themselves to be voluntarily blindfolded in order to create portraits of each other from memory, allowing tensions, familiarity, strangeness to surface in the series of large gestural black and white paintings. With cues from the Surrealists game of Exquisite Corpse where artists assemble a drawing by following absurd instructions, Tim Noble and Sue Webster by being blindfolded, welcome into the new paintings the effects of accidents and subconscious elements at work. A second series of paintings are also present at the Blind Painting exhibition, the Feinschmecker or fine detail paintings are created by throwing and wiping the remaining paint from the blindfolded portraits onto blank canvas, an act of unconstrained abstraction, created without thinking as an opposite to the concentration required for the blindfolded portraits. A series of smaller works on paper that Tim Noble and Sue Webster created with their feet will also be on view at the Blind Painting exhibition.
Tim Noble (1966) and Sue Webster (1967) have worked as a collaborative duo for almost twenty years and are associated with the post-YBA (Young British Artists) generation. The duo met at Nottingham Trent University, UK and found they shared a love of music along with other interests. Tim Noble and Sue Webster developed the shadow portraits they have become known for while working for the artists Gilbert and George, creating sculptures from personal items and household waste that then cast well formed shadows when under bright light. The duo have long played with the idea of how we perceive abstract images and bestow meaning upon them, an element of perceptual psychology used for psychological patients, showing that abstract forms can be transformed into figurative forms. Tim Noble and Sue Webster are infused with punk attitude; just take a look at their website that has the greeting message of Welcome Motherfuckers alongside a rock n roll portrait of them in leather jackets, the duo create art from anti-art, taking strength from opposites to fuel the creations, male and female, sex and violence, high culture and anti-culture. The Blind Painting exhibition adds another element to their already strong repertoire and sees the duo channelling that punk energy into paintings that explode to life.
The Suzanne Geiss Company is a gallery located in downtown Manhattan and was established in 2011. The Company supports innovative art across multi-disciplines by established and emerging artists. The exhibition Blind Paintings by Tim Noble and Sue Webster runs from November 13th 2014 until December 20th 2014 and can be found at 76 Grand Street, New York.
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Photos courtesy of The Suzanne Geiss Company & Noble/Webster.