london

Paul Noble, Three, 2011, Rosa Portugal marble, limestone, 11' 8 7/8“ x 6' 8 3/4” x 6' 4 1/2".

Paul Noble

Gagosian Gallery

Paul Noble, Three, 2011, Rosa Portugal marble, limestone, 11' 8 7/8“ x 6' 8 3/4” x 6' 4 1/2".

W E L C O M E T O N O B S O N, announce the capital letters in the fifteen-part drawing, dated 2010, that prefaced Paul Noble’s first UK solo show since the Whitechapel Gallery’s 2004 survey. But shouldn’t that have been “welcome back”? Noble’s instantly recognizable, manically detailed pencil-on-paper drawings have mapped the dystopia of Nobson for some fifteen years now, and one feels one’s been welcomed to it on several previous occasions. However, despite Nobson’s apparent spatial coherence—its navigable if wonky perspectives and distinctive architectures formed of quasi-legible text—it is best not thought of as a place one can arrive at or return to; critical accounts that fall in step with the artist’s conceit and mimic travelogues arguably mistake the map for the territory. Deep down, Nobson is less a sociogeographical allegory than a creative constraint in a

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