Revere Auctions
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Tue, Mar 21, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 260

Tim Noble & Sue Webster Rats w/ Heart Shaped Tail

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$500,000 $25,000
$1,000,000 $50,000
$10,000,000 $100,000
Timothy "Tim" Noble (British, b. 1966) and Susan "Sue" Webster (British, 1967). Scrap metal sculpture titled "Metal Fucking Rats with Heart Shaped Tail," 2007. Welded steel and light projector. When light is directed on the sculpture, a shadow of two amorous rats with their tails forming a heart can be viewed.

The duo referred to as Tim Noble and Sue Webster are most often associated with the post-YBA generation of artists. Working with odds and ends to create sculpture installations, their work can be divided into two categories: light and shadow. The pair met in college while studying at Nottingham Trent University and became close friends due to their shared interests in music. After moving around for several years, they both moved to London while Noble started his MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art.

In 1996 they held their first exhibition called "British Rubbish" at the Independent Art Space. The success of this exhibition led to a multitude of follow-up exhibitions including their most well-known work, "Dirty White Trash (with Gulls)," which was created from six months' worth of garbage. When the light was shown on the heap the artists, Noble and Webster, could be seen sitting back-to-back.

Their works have been included in exhibits around the world including shows at the Royal Academy London, the British Museum in London, and galleries in Berlin, Seoul, New York, Athens, Boston, and Moscow. Their artwork is held in the collections of the Arken Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Since the late 1980's, Tim Noble and Sue Webster have been known for their shadow sculptures built using household objects, garbage, taxidermy, and scrap metal - like the sculpture offered here. Under directed light, these works cast recognizable shadows, sometimes self-portraits. Merging together form and anti-form, high culture and anti-culture, their anti-monuments explore human psychology and how and why we attach meaning to images.

Height: 23 in x width: 25 in x depth: 7 in.


The scultpure appears to be in excellent condition. Due to the nature of the sculpture, it is difficult to determine if there are any losses, bends, or breaks. The metal is patinated and has oxidized, though this may be original to the production of the sculpture as it was created from scrap metal. The projector runs and works but has not been tested for prolonged use.

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