Nihilistic Optimistic features six large-scale works; the show builds upon Noble & Webster’s sustained investigation into self-portraiture, further deconstructing the relationship between materiality and form which has been so intrinsic to their practice.
Constructed principally from discarded wood and other materials, the artists describe these sculptures as ‘street compositions’. Each work appears abstracted or even unfinished as the debris of the artists’ studio – gathered sawdust, wood shavings and tools – lie scattered around the sculptures. A sense of urban chaos is implicit within the construction of the surrounding gallery environment.
The dualistic title, Nihilistic Optimistic, responds to the oppositional forces present within these works; the show is at once constructive and destructive, hopeful and despairing. Light and shadow, form and absence, figuration and abstraction all inform one another and exist in a constant state of tension.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Tim Noble & Sue Webster: Nihilistic Optimistic at Blain|Southern, London, 10 October – 24 November 2012.