Paul Noble (born in 1963 in the village of Dilston, Northumberland) is a British visual artist – in 2012, he was nominated for the Turner Prize alongside Spartacus Chetwynd, Luke Fowler and Elizabeth Price.
Paul Noble produces pencil drawings which not only take months to complete, but are so huge that he himself never sees a completed drawing until the many individual sheets of paper on which he’s worked are pinned together on the gallery wall. Through his graphite and paint pieces, he toys with ideas of hopelessness and social malfunction whilst keeping a playful, almost puerile tone, and simultaneously explores notions of urban culture encroaching upon rural life and traditions. His 2004 solo show at the Whitechapel Gallery saw the unveiling of Nobson Newtown, a monumental piece of work which he worked upon for eight years. No people are depicted in the town, which the artist described as an “exercise in self-portraiture via town planning”.
Noble studied at Humberside College of Higher Education (1983–1986) and Sunderland Polytechnic (1982–1983), before moving to London in 1987. He was one of the five founder members of the co-operative who formed the City Racing gallery an influential artists’ space in London (1988–98). Noble is most well known as the creator of Nobson Newtown. In 2000 Noble was the recipient of an award from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
His work has since been exhibited in London at Cubitt Gallery (1995), Chisenhale Gallery (1998), Tate Gallery (1999), and Whitechapel Art Gallery (2004); and internationally at the Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo (2003), Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam and the Migros Museum, Zurich (2005). Noble lives and works in London.