Paul Noble, Welcome to Nobson
From Gagosian Gallery press release of his last show in 2011:
Noble’s intricate graphite drawings describe Nobson Newtown, a place composed of labyrinthine edifices and deserted topography embedded with modules of dense detail. Employing cavalier projection—a cartographical method characterized by a high viewpoint—Noble meticulously delineates a wealth of elaborate architecture and open urban spaces. These phantasmagorical landscapes allude to sources as diverse as ancient Chinese scrolls, Fabergé eggs, Henry Moore’s sculptures, and paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. The encrypted fictions of Nobson Newtown are dizzyingly complex—visual articulations of the tensions between disorder, perversion, and logical schema.
“I use the devices of technical drawing. These devices help shine the sharpest light on the things I depict. I am against hierarchies and perspective. I arrange the objects of my drawings on a spatial plane using cavalier projection. The origins of this projection lay in military cartography - fore, mid and background are got rid of and everything depicted is equally close and far. The viewer becomes the architect and the drawing, an architectural plan. He or she is no longer earthbound but hovers like an angel over the described scene, taking in the entire design.
I was raised on the north-east coast of England, and this has conditioned my aesthetic. I think like the flat, grey skies of wintery Whitley Bay - tonally. I use very hard pencils, very rarely softer than 4H. Sometimes the pencils are so hard it seems they would rather scratch a hole in the paper than give up their pale graphite.” - Paul Noble