london

Paul Noble

Chisenhale Gallery

The fictional town of Nobson Newtown is more than the collection of dwellings and other sites depicted in Paul Noble’s highly detailed and laboriously executed large-scale pencil drawings. The buildings as we see them are isolated—each confined to its own sheet of paper—while occupying a place in Noble’s larger conception of the space of the entire mapped-out townscape. Like all new entities, the town hasn’t risen out of nothing; rather, it sits on the site of an older community, where, we are told, the members’ activities had revolved around the veneration of a wormlike deity. In the new town there is no place of worship, because the inhabitants no longer feel the need for religious solace. Instead, a large shopping mall, converted from the old temple to the deity, occupies the town center. Engineered by the planners of the new town as a fitting “center” for a modern, uncentered

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