Hunters and Gatherers: The Art of Assemblage

1334 York Avenue
New York 10021 U.S.

18 November 2011

For most of history, human beings were hunters and gatherers. Until the invention of agriculture, about 10,000 years ago, to subsist meant to comb the wilds, foraging for edible plants and animals. The impulse to scavenge is thus embedded in our genes, and through the centuries it has found powerful expression in the world of art.

Artists are a particular type of hunter-gatherers. Since ancient times, they have assembled works from assorted materials, both natural and man-made, in arrangements in which the artistic whole transcends the sum of its parts. The practice of assemblage has continued into the 21st century, with artists enthusiastically using non-traditional materials in both intimate and environmentally scaled artworks.

Juxtaposing western and non-western art histories, this exhibition is itself an assemblage of different time periods, cultures and artistic forms, resulting in striking visual encounters. In some cases, there is a direct reference to the notion of hunting and gathering, while in others, materials are recuperated into hybrid compositions that are playful, enigmatic and dynamic. Ultimately, it is the fluidity of ideas and the dialogues between objects that create the universe of Hunters and Gatherers.

Burning, Bright: A Short History of the Light Bulb

The Pace Gallery
545 West 22nd Street
New York, NY, U.S.

27 October – 26 November 2011

The Pace Gallery is pleased to present Burning, Bright: A Short History of the Light Bulb, a group exhibition that illuminates a recurring fascination with the light bulb by some of the most important artists of the past hundred years.

In the second half of the 20th century, artists again expanded the role of light bulbs, transforming the bulb from subject matter to medium. Integrated into early Pop combines by Dine and Rauschenberg or used alongside other everyday materials by the Arte Povera group, light bulbs became a source of physical as well as existential illumination. Many works included the concept of the material's lifespan: Gonzalez-Torres's elegant strings of light bulbs are allowed to burn out during exhibitions and Morris's Metered Bulb displays a working light bulb alongside an electric company meter that monotonously records its energy expenditure. In the work of Tim Noble and Sue Webster, flashing bulbs reference the lights of signage and advertising, but spell out icons of pop culture instead of a product.

The Knowledge

54th Venice Biennale
Gervasuti Foundation
Fondamenta S. Ana Via Garibaldi Castello 995, 30122

1 June 2011, 10pm

An exhibition curated by James Putnam

A new work by Tim Noble & Sue Webster. An animation in collaboration with the critically acclaimed Japanese experimental band Bo Ningen. [project]

Turning the Seventh Corner

Potsdamer Straße 77–87
10785, Berlin

30 April – July 16 2011

Private View: Friday 29 April, 6–8pm

Blain|Southern Press Release

Turning the Seventh Corner

Blain|Southern is delighted to announce that it will open its Berlin gallery in April with an exhibition by the celebrated British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster. Monumental both in scale and ambition, Turning the Seventh Corner is a site-specific installation inspired by the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs which has been made in collaboration with the internationally acclaimed architect David Adjaye.

The new gallery, a concrete, steel and glass structure with a floor space of more than 1,300 square metres, was formerly the printing presses of the German Liberal newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel. The publication's motto, 'Rerum cognoscere causas', or 'To know the causes of things', has also inspired the artists.

Tim Noble and Sue Webster are best known for their 'shadow sculptures' in which they use discarded rubbish, animals and other matter that are then illuminated from a single light source creating portraits of themselves. Their work also includes light sculptures which elevate the kitsch of low art forms, such as Las Vegas strip hotels and tattoo parlours, into iconic tropes of pop art.

Turning The Seventh Corner draws on these and other practices. However, the artists' desire for an element of surprise

and mystery has led them to hold back on revealing every detail of the work, which they have created as a journey of exploration.

Upon arriving at the doorway on the second floor of the gallery the viewer enters a labyrinth of man-made tunnels, dimly lit with narrowing passages. These ascend and descend in a spiral-like manner and have been designed to disorientate and, in doing so, steer the mind towards a more open and meditative state, one alive to enquiry.

After passing the seven corners, an allusion to the Book of Proverbs, 9:1 – "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars", the viewer enters a tomb-like area where the secret creation by Tim Noble and Sue Webster, one of beauty, surprise, wonder and enlightenment, is revealed.

Says Webster: "Since I was a teenager I've been enthralled by the idea of Berlin and by the way it has attracted the creative energies of two of my great heroes David Bowie and Nick Cave – and so following in this great tradition, Tim and I are proud to initiate our most ambitious project to date in this fabulous city."

[installation] [publication]

Peeping Tom

Kunsthal KAdE Amersfoort
The Netherlands

19 February – 8 May 2011

Group exhibition curated by Keith Coventry

An exhibition about the Peeping Tom invites visitors to investigate the world of the voyeur. Kunsthal KAdE is presenting several works from a group of artists, with paintings, prints, photos, works on paper and installations all based around this one central theme.

Born After 1924

Castlefield Gallery
2 Hewitt Street
Manchester M15 4GB

18 February – 10 April 2011

Castlefield Gallery is proud to present BORN AFTER 1924, a project by German artist
Ingo Gerken. Interpreting the contemporary legacy of the Merzbarn and Kurt Schwitters in the UK, Castlefield Gallery has invited Gerken to respond to Schwitters' Merz Magazine (issue 8/9) of 1924 called Nasci. The theme of the magazine, Nasci, meaning 'being born' or 'becoming', was co-edited with Russian Constructivist artist El Lissitzky forging an alliance of Dadaist and Constructivist ideals and included reproductions and texts by Vladimir Tatlin, George Braque, Man Ray, Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich and Mies van der Rohe among others.

The Unconscious in Everyday Life

Science Museum
Exhibition Road, South Kensington
London SW7 2DD

13 October 2010 – April 2011

Curated by Dr Caterina Albano
Supported by: The Institute of Psychoanalysis

Explore the workings of the unconscious mind through a range of modern and historical objects and contemporary artworks.

The unconscious pervades every aspect of our lives – it shapes concealed conflicts and repressed desires. This exhibition brings some of its unexpected manifestations to light through historical and contemporary artefacts. Visitors take on a key role as they are invited tease out hidden associations and unconscious meanings, some of which are also unravelled by the voices of leading psychoanalysts.

The exhibition celebrates psychoanalysis not only as a treatment but also as an enduring body of knowledge which enhances our understanding of culture and society. Through a range of modern and historical objects, digital animation, audio interpretation and works by leading artists such as Grayson Perry and Noble & Webster, the exhibits focus on a key concept of psychoanalysis – how the unconscious is manifest in everyday experiences.

The Head of Isabella Blow, 2002

National Portrait Gallery
Room 37, Contemporary Collections in the Lerner Galleries
St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE

23 September 2010 – 13 March 2011

A cacophony of stuffed animals dramatically spot-lit onto a wall to form a portrait silhouette of the late fashion icon Isabella Blow has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery. It goes on display at the Gallery tomorrow and a talk about the work will be given there by the artists at 7.00 pm as part of the Gallery's Late Shift programme (23 September 2010).

The unusual portrait made of 15 taxidermy animals (including birds, a rat and a snake), wood and fake moss together with a heel from one of Blow's own Manolo Blahnik shoes and her trademark lipstick is a vivid combination of sculpture, installation and light projection.

In the resulting silhouette of a head, Isabella Blow appears to be wearing one of the extraordinary hats designed for her by Phillip Treacy, which often featured taxidermy. The artists were fascinated by what they saw as Blow's gothic quality and chose to depict her head as though on a stake, incorporating a raven and the species of rat associated with the Black Death.

The work has been donated to the Gallery by the estate of Isabella Blow, who died in 2007, and the artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster who created it from life in 2002. The result of their friendship with Isabella Blow, this is the only portrait by the artists of a person other than themselves.

'The portrait encourages us to reflect simultaneously on beauty and death,' says Rosie Broadley, Associate Curator of Contemporary Collections, National Portrait Gallery, London, 'which embody Blow's own complex preoccupations.'

The Late Shift Artists in Conversation: Tim Noble and Sue Webster

Ondaatje Wing Theatre
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE

23 September 2010, 7:00 pm

Following a screening of a short film of the artists at work, Sue Webster and Tim Noble discuss their unique approach to art and their portrait of fashion stylist and muse Isabella Blow, with writer and critic Michael Bracewell. This event is part of the National Portrait Gallery's Late Shift programme, in partnership with FTI Consulting.

Highlights from the Collection

Goss-Michael Foundation
1405 Turtle Creek Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75207, U.S.

19 November 2010 – 12 March 2011

The exhibition, comprised of over 25 works selected from the founders' private collection, will feature art by Michael Craig-Martin, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst, Jim Lambie, Sarah Lucas, Adam McEwen, Jonathan Monk, Tim Noble &
Sue Webster, Richard Patterson, Marc Quinn, and Eva Rothschild.

Working closely with the curatorial staff, the founders personally selected each exhibited work. Michael and Goss have assembled a collection of innovative and provocative pieces that often relate to one another through shared themes: sexuality, personal identity and societal roles; beauty, sensuality and death; as well as the social and political issues facing the current generation. It is the intention of the Goss Michael foundation to present challenging contemporary art to the public, to open up an interesting dialogue between works of art and to create a forum for the exchange of ideas in Dallas.

The front gallery features artists of different generations and sensibilities. What binds them in the context of this exhibition, is a melancholic but also playful way of dealing with loss and the brute reality of human mortality. The essence of life is condensed in one page obituaries, a neon coffin contradicts the somberness and gravity of the symbol of death, dead butterflies create a tragic image of beauty, 60s car hoods become nostalgic icons of the hope for freedom of a bygone era and playful concrete shrines of music seem to be obliviously sinking in the ground.

Most of the artists included in the main gallery space belong to the YBA group (Young British Artist), with the exception of Gilbert & George who actually belong to the previous generation but are generally considered to be important forerunners to the YBA movement. In this room, the theme of mortality and the fragility of life continues to be present but refers more to death as the Freudian "Eros & Thanatos" duality. Death is seen in conflict with the urge for life, sexuality and desire. The artists, in a direct, deadpan and sometimes tongue-in-cheek way, confront us with the futile struggle of the body to overcome death, the desire for life to overcome limitations, with reason to overcome instinct, with order to overcome chaos. Repression, temptation, suffering, redemption, ecstasy, are all present, connecting issues of sexuality and desire with metaphysical questions.

Please Write

67 Wilton Way
London E8 1BG

26 November 2010 – 27 February 2011

Directed and curated by Julia Royse

This exhibition strives to remind us of the power of these tangible messages – how
they can shape and change our lives. Russian artist, Haim Sokol, presents a melancholy bundle of unopened letters quietly examining our impatient society; Tim Noble and Sue Webster compare letters from their mothers as an alternative and enlightening self portrait and Rachel Whiteread, using paint and piercing on postcards, elegantly alters historical Hackney scenes.

Statuephilia—Contemporary Sculptors at the British Museum

British Museum
Great Russell Street
London, WC1B 3DG

4 October 2008–25 January 2009

For fifteen years Tim Noble and Sue Webster's dark, witty and original works have addressed issues of sexuality, identity, self-representation and taboo.

Inspired by the Museum's Egyptian collections, they have painstakingly produced a unique silhouette work. A simple spotlight transforms an apparently amorphous heap of mummified creatures into two silhouettes of the artists' faces.

Tim Noble and Sue Webster's use of animals echoes that of their Egyptian predecessors. Ancient Egyptians believed that gods could take the form of animals. Cats, dogs, birds and other creatures were bred to be mummified, then sold to pilgrims who offered them back to the gods.

Dark Stuff examines our attitude to life and death, beauty and the grotesque, and invites that perennial question (often asked about the ancient Egyptians): 'How did they do it?'

The British Museum—Patrons' Open House

29 October 2008, 6.45pm-9.00pm

Tonight curators and artists consider the different approaches to sculpture from antiquity to the present day and invite us to take a closer look at the art works on display by Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Ron Mueck, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, and Marc Quinn in our current exhibition Statuephilia—Contemporary Sculptures at the British Museum.

The exhibition has been guest curated by Waldemar Januszczak and James Fox of ZCZ films from an idea by Channel 4. It complements a major new Channel 4 television series on the history of sculpture, The Sculpture Diaries, produced by ZCZ.

The works are on display alongside our permanent collections on the Ground floor. There will be ten different talks taking place throughout the evening.

Electric Fountain

Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY, U.S.

27 February 2008–5 April 2008

Electric Fountain is a spectacular public artwork by acclaimed British artists Tim Noble & Sue Webster. Inspired by the Plaza at Rockefeller Center, this three-dimensional light sculpture is in the form of a monumental fountain measuring 35' in height and 30' in diameter. The design and sequencing of the work, fabricated from 3,390 LED bulbs and 527 meters of neon tubing, replicates the movement of water, creating a hypnotic experience for viewers.

Electric Fountain represents Noble & Webster's modern take on the world's oldest form of public art, the fountain. It simultaneously references iconic pop culture symbols, such as marquee signs in Las Vegas and Times Square, and historical fountains built in civic spaces, such as Bernini's Triton Fountain. A monument for the 21st century, Electric Fountain is a celebration of the spectacle, excess, beauty, and desire of contemporary culture and a provocative comment on the nature of consumer society, a theme often present in Noble & Webster's work.

"Electric Fountain mimics the tradition of a fountain as a monument found in public squares around the world, but its magic lies in the emulation of light where water should be," said artist Sue Webster. "During daylight hours the viewer will really get a sense of Electric Fountain's architectural and sculptural qualities as the lights react with the changing moods of New York City's daily weather conditions. As night time falls, the sculptural form will slowly disappear into darkness leaving only the illusion of bright cascading water in its wake."

For the first time, Noble & Webster are using Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) in their work, creating a brighter appearance while using less energy. The LEDs represent the future of light technology and Electric Fountain marks the beginning of the artists' use of new material in their projects with a commitment to the environment.

Tim Noble & Sue Webster (b. 1966, 1967 respectively) are artists based in England, associated with the post-Young British Artists generation. Finding inspiration in pop culture, advertising, and punk influences, Noble & Webster have challenged the conventional word, career path of the artist, utilizing different media—including electric lights and garbage—to tease out new relations between spectacle, conceptual gravity, and pure entertainment.

Their work was included in the exhibition Apocalypse: "Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art" at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2000, as well as the opening show of the Saatchi Gallery in County Hall, London. They have exhibited in numerous group exhibitions internationally and have had solo shows at PS1/MOMA, New York (2003), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2004), Centro de Arte Contemporanea de Malaga (CAC), Spain (2005), and The Freud Museum, London (2006).

"Polymorphous Perverse," an exhibition of recent work first shown at The Freud Museum will be presented by Deitch Projects, New York from March 1–29, 2008.

Tishman Speyer is the co-owner and manager of Rockefeller Center, which is the site of numerous public exhibits and events, including large-scale installations of public art by world-renowned artists including Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons and Jonathan Borofsky. Tishman Speyer has earned a worldwide reputation for innovative utilization of public art in its signature commercial properties, which include Rockefeller Center and The Chrysler Building.

Pushing the boundaries into the unexpected within the automotive category, Lexus supports those who are similarly forward thinking within their own categories. Lexus saw the Electric Fountain as an opportunity to support visionaries Tim Noble & Sue Webster in their most innovative exploration of modern design.

Art Production Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences, and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Co-Founders: Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen; Director of Operations: Casey Fremont. For more information please visit:

Electric Fountain was made possible by: Co-Producer: Jeffrey Deitch; Project Advisor: Mark Fletcher; Design Consultation & Fabrication: Michael Hammers Studios; Design Consultant: Sue Shepherd; Creative Link for the Arts and Kanbar Charitable Trust. Design partner: Pandiscio Co.