David NOONAN, Untitled Enlarge 1 /1


Ballarat, Victoria, Australia born 1969

  • England from 2010

Untitled 2012 Place made: London, Greater London, England
Materials & Technique: prints, screenprint, printed in black ink, from multiple screens; collage Support: jute and linen
Manufacturer's Mark: no manufacturer's mark
Edition State: published state
Impression: undesignated impression; unique impression
Edition: edition of 1

Primary Insc: no inscriptions.
Dimensions: printed image 204.0 h x 146.0 w cm fabric 204.0 h x 146.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2013
Accession No: NGA 2013.699
  • Purchased by the National Gallery of Australia, from Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Melbourne, 2013.

David Noonan is an Australian-born artist of international renown. His work has been exhibited in galleries such as Palais de Tokyo in Paris and Tate Modern in London. He makes monochromatic collage from found images, which he then photographs and refashions into silkscreen prints.

The images in his works are often indistinct and unrelated, and the viewer must consider them closely to decipher what they are and how they relate to each other. In this way, Noonan replicates our first experience of the world. Standing in front of his works, we are like small children trying to make visual sense of our surroundings for the first time.

In creating Untitled, a large screenprint on jute fabric, Noonan has torn the work apart and then stitched it back together in reams of dense thread. This is a violent act, one that suggests a fraught association between images and accentuates the idea that the experience of sight is not always enlightening; it can also be distressing. We use sight to confirm each other’s existence. But Noonan’s protagonists in Untitled do not return each other’s gaze and, therefore, never confirm each other’s presence. The sole attempt to assert the reality of the figures by bringing them into bodily relation is the gesture of one’s hand toward the crown of the other’s head.

In the past, Noonan has collaborated with the author Dan Fox, whose experimental writings form a fitting parallel to the artist’s enigmatic practice.

Elspeth Pitt Assistant Curator, Australian Prints and Drawings

in artonview, issue 75, Spring 2013