Paul Noble's Intricate Mazes

June 06, 2012
During the last six years, British artist Paul Noble has invented a city. Named for its creator, Nobson Newtown comprises extremely large and meticulously crafted pencil drawings, each depicting a different building or location within Noble’s fictitious industrial town built on the edge of a forest. Although they are precisely rendered in realistic detail, Noble’s creations are much more than a feat in naturalistic representation. They embody the sly wit that characterizes the best of British satire. Each blocky construction is crafted out of a grouping of letters that identifies its owner or function. Each structure is then individually modified to take on the needs of its inhabitants in ways that often render its name unreadable. Representing a utopian vision gone awry, Nobson Newtown is a meditation on city planning, modernism, and life at the turn of the twenty-first century.