Tim Noble and Sue Webster - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Bortolami Dayan, New York.
    Aquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Bortolami Dayan, New York, Tim Noble & Sue Webster-The Glory Hole, 5 November-23 December, 2005; Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, Masquerade: Representation and the Self in Contemporary Art, 23 March-26 May, 2006. This work has been requested by the artists for a show entitled ‘Heavy Metal: on the inexplicable ease of material' which will take place in Kiehl from the 6th December 2008 to the 29th march 2009.

  • Literature

    T. Noble & S. Webster, eds., Tim Noble and Sue Webster Wasted Youth, New York, 2006 (illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Masquerade: Representation and the Self in Contemporary Art, 2006, p.82 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The artist couples, Tim Noble and Sue Webster encompass a taste for the theatrical, responding to accepted ideas about gender or racially-specific identity, inner struggles with ideas of the self and the breadth of human expression from humor to despair. In Spikey Thing from 2005 the duo highlight the contrast between the intricate rubbish scrap-metal assemblage of the foreground and the silent contemplative figures of the background, shining through when a projection light is fixed onto the sculpture correctly, thus reminding us that artwork always involves a physical transformation, from rubbish to real life and back again.
    This contrast is sharp as it is witty. Scrap reminiscent of a twisted metal junk yard is carefully welded together to create a highly vivid projection of two human bodies back to back against each other on the background wall. The light spilled through the sculpture from the projection reflects onto the wall and reveals two human forms, one a female and the other a male, perhaps making reference to the two artists as they usually include themselves in their works of art.
    Unlike other fragments from their scrapheap / junk sculptures which the artist pair recollect from around their East London surroundings, The Spikey Thing is compromised of only scrap metal and does not include other pieces of rubbish or taxidermic animals which Noble and Webster tend to use for assemblage of their other junk and rubbish projected sculptures. Tackling sculpture as a form with an alternative identity; the revelation of a hidden being inside the twisted metal shreds is perhaps acknowledging the works of other famous sculptors and pushing them to new lengths. With Spikey Things, Noble and Webster have challenged the common perception of sculpture and taken it further reminding the viewer of the flexibility that the three dimensional work can take. We can see for example in Anthony Caro's sculptural pieces an array of ‘found' twisted wires and steel figures vaguely recognizable but interpretive in their visual form, some almost analogous to Noble and Webster's Spikey Thing in their gesture, presence and standing. Perhaps it is the revelatory nature of Spikey Thing that literally illuminates the power of abstract configuration and simplifies the process of understanding through a clear connotation to surprise and disclosure."Diverted by money, property, and prestige, it is easy to avert our gaze from the vapid bankruptcy and wasted by products of the consumer cultural dream. In a post-radicalized world of ambivalence where consumption and oblivion seem the order of the day, Tim Noble and Sue Webster's collaborations literally shine light upon the untouchable residue of conspicuous consumption."(A. Robinson, Humanity Stakes Its Claim, Mixed Media / Review, 2003)



The Spiky Thing

Welded scrap metal and light projector.
173.4 x 75 x 96.5 cm. (64 1/4 x 29 1/2 x 38 in).
This work is unique.
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artists.

£120,000 - 180,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2008, 5pm