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Epic drawings at London’s Whitechapel Gallery.Looking at the complexity and sheer talent of Paul Noble’s intricate pencil drawings at his first one-man show, it’s impossible not be impressed. Noble’s huge drawings of his fictional Nobson Newtown are the kind of work you can spend hours staring at and deciphering.
The visuals work on multiple levels. At first, the drawings appear to be depictions of a crazy Babylonian society, with a touch of Brueghel’s Tower Of Babel and Robert Crumb’s rounded comic strips. Then you realise each building is also a 3-D letter of the alphabet spelling out hard to decipher sentences in Noble’s self-created Nobfont. Layer on top of this Noble’s exploration of artistic endeavour or language.
It’s surprising that the work manages to stay very accessible – something about the simplicity of a mere pencil, the schoolboy fantasy doodles, the “Where’s Wally?” level of detail. Intricate work but uncomplicatedly enjoyable.
Paul Noble is at the Whitechapel, London, until 14 November 04.
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