The exhibition includes a wide variety of works drawn from over a decade of the couple’s prolific artistic endeavors, often characterized by Noble + Webster as being “consistently inconsistent.” No matter how “inconsistent” their catalogue may appear, all of the works are closely and obviously linked by their allusions to the artists’ emotional, spiritual, and sexual relationship, as well as by the underlying conceptual social statements derived from the fusion of opposites: “form and anti-form, high culture and anti-culture, male and female, craft and rubbish, sex and violence.” Using various mediums, polysulphide rubber (Dirty Narcissus, 2007), scrap metal (Metal Fucking Rats, 2007) and bright lights (Excessive Sensual Indulgence, 1996 and The Sweet Smell of Excess, 1998) they create shadowed silhouettes and neon writings (fucking beautiful, 2002), presenting the viewer with a journey into their own romantic personas – a world of excess, grotesque, and at times, unsettling sexual behaviors.
Tim Noble + Sue Webster are known for magically transforming garbage into art. They sculpt piles of street rubbish, studio debris, and taxidermy animals into astonishing representations of life with “real” shadows of the artists themselves hovering over their accumulations of discarded objects. These abstract forms mysteriously reverse the abstraction into figuration. Noble + Webster have created a remarkable group of anti-monuments in their eleven-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. It is an art of magic and illusion, but it is also an art of direct experience, by combining elements of sculpture, advertising and the persona, the artists have succeeded in making their lives and the experience of the viewer part of the art.
Since their first solo show in London in 1996, British Rubbish, Noble + Webster have enjoyed international recognition with solo exhibitions at 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 and Deste Foundation, Athens, 2000. Their first public art installation Electric Fountain, was unveiled at Rockefeller Plaza, New York, in February 2008. Their work is in the permanent collection of the Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Artis-François Pinault, France; Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens; The Goss-Michael Collection, Dallas; Honart Museum, Tehran, Iran; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Project Space 176 – The Zabludowicz Collection, London; Saatchi Collection, London; Samsung Museum, Seoul, Korea; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.