Aaron Noble


Launched on 20 October 2004

SPIRE is on display at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, 27 Hoxton Square, at the corner of Mundy Street.

Peer together with Bhatt Murphy, a firm of solicitors specialising in human rights, invited US artist Aaron Noble to make two new projects. The more substantial and long-term is a painting entitled Spire, commissioned for the exterior wall of Bhatt Murphy’s offices at the northeast corner of Hoxton Square. This work’s title is an oblique reference to Noble’s interest in Nicholas Hawksmoor’s 17th-century ecclesiastical architecture in the East End, and also evokes an otherworldly landscape of the fantastic. At Peer, Noble showed works on paper that continue to explore the key influence on his work: superhero comic illustration.

Noble’s morphed and manipulated comic book phrasings are highjacked from this adolescent source material to be collaged together to form a sophisticated mass of colour and line. Central to Noble’s methodical graphic process is the elimination of the figure itself, but its presence is keenly felt. The swirl of drapery, flying matter and the exploded and twisted machinery parts cascade as if by an invisible centrifugal force. What remains is the energy and the force of these heroes and villains: drama without narrative. Unlike the potent irony of Roy Lichtenstein’s comic book borrowings, Noble’s are spliced and reconfigured to achieve a baroque heroicism.


Currently living in Los Angeles, Noble developed his practice while co-directing the Clarion Alley Mural Project in San Francisco from 1991 to 2003. He has painted outdoor murals in Taiwan, Indonesia, Czech Republic; and in the US in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Reedsport, Oregon. Exhibitions include UCLA Hammer Art Museum and Blum & Poe in L.A, White Columns in New York, and Stephen Wirtz in San Francisco. www.aaronnoble.net