Tim Noble and Sue Webster - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Thursday, November 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Modern Art, London

  • Exhibited

    Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, April 21 - September 6, 2004
    London, The Saatchi Gallery, 2004

  • Literature

    A.B. Arts, “Money for Old Rope (Expect a Big Run on Toilet Paper Art),” The Independent on Sunday, March 21, 2004
    J. Silver, “Noble – Webster Show: So Lovely It’s Obscene,” Boston Herald, May 8, 2004
    M.J. Malone, “Tim Noble & Sue Webster at the MFA,” Big Red & Shiny, Issue #7, May, 2004
    T. Noble and S. Webster, Tim Noble & Sue Webster: Wasted Youth, New York, 2006, n.p. (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The work of British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster speaks loudly the language of trash, glamour and kitsch. Celebrating youth culture and the legacy of Pop Art, over the past two decades the artists have created a witty and ironic body of work flled with imagery culled from banal everyday life. Noble and Webster’s animated electric signsare perhaps their most recognized and widely acclaimed works. Illuminated with hundreds of light bulbs shimmering and fashing in resplendent glory, these sculptures pay homage to decadence and vulgarity. The present lot, Puny Undernourished Kid, 2004, and Girlfriend From Hell, 2004, is certainly one of the artists’ most signifcant, striking and powerful early electronic signs. Here, the duo has developed selfportraits of their own personalities in a unique medium as the enfants terrible of Contemporary Art. Puny Undernourished Kid, 2004, and Girlfriend From Hell, 2004, combine many aspects of their renowned oeuvre, resulting in what can be considered a self-referential chapter in their rebel opus. Based on two drawings they made early in their career in 1996, Noble & Webster reworked their impoverished doodles in grand-scale neon. This diptych pays homage to the “good kids gone bad” culture, but re-imagined as high art conceptualism in the medium best associated with highways and strip malls. Puny Undernourished Kid, 2004, and Girlfriend From Hell, 2004, are rendered as cartoonish silhouettes flled with expletives like, “Piss Off”, “Fuck Up,” “Angry Bitch.” While the text is perverted and offensive, their expressions and postures reveal a kind of naïveté and innocence; beneath their tough exteriors, they are just young kids in a tough world. Both works are highly seductive sculptures which at once celebrate and subvert our everyday visual culture and the transcendent nature of fne art.


Two Works: Puny Undernourished Kid and Girlfriend From Hell

82 multicolored neon sections, transformers
left: 111 3/4 x 71 x 1 1/2 in. (283.8 x 180.3 x 3.8 cm)

right: 110 1/4 x 82 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (280 x 210.2 x 3.8 cm)

This work is number one from an edition of three plus two artist's proofs.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $242,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

16 November 2012
New York