Francesca Mollett makes abstract paintings that react to space and context. Her works are reflections of light and surface formed through a fluid yet precise process. Compositions evolve by extracting observations from an image, which transforms in a practice of analysing the shifting passages of paint as tension between luminosity and solidity develops. Often influenced by literature, Mollett reveals a deep relationship between the ethos of life and of time, elusive and unable to be articulated through representation alone. In this, abstraction - through colour and texture - becomes an attentive way of considering these affinities. In many of her works, we see organic subjects rendered, so their defining details of difference dissolve into new yet familiar grounds. Through this careful balance of specificity Mollett’s practice invites us into spaces of desire, understanding, and candid encounter.
Of her recent work, critic and curator Tom Morton has written:
These are works much concerned with grasping the intangible... a moth, if touched, crumbles to dust. And yet, looking at Mollett’s paintings – in which the contours of plants and insects dissolve to the point where conventional classification becomes impossible, and a more radical specificity obtains – we get the impression of a poised moment in which thought emerges from the pigment in the form of an image, and something elusive is understood. She is an artist whose work argues for her medium’s necessity, for painting’s unique ability to illuminate those delicate, often hidden aspects of the world that would otherwise remain dark.
Mollett is deeply intrigued by the conceit that the surface of a painting can be a shifting passage to experience a fragmented interior space collaged with varying states of consciousness from, memory, flow, rupture, and anticipation. Moved by painting’s ability to foster an exchange with a viewer and deconstruct their preconceptions, the artist connects us to the brilliant and spectral patterns of life we often miss in the realm of the quotidian.
Francesca Mollett (b. 1991, Bristol, UK) received her MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London (UK) in 2020, having previously studied at the Royal Drawing School and Wimbledon College of Art, London (UK). Recent solo exhibitions include Noon at Pond Society, Shanghai (CN); Halves at GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL) and Low Sun at Micki Meng, San Francisco, CA (US), 2023; The Moth in the Moss at Taymour Grahne Projects, London (UK), 2022; Spiral Walking at Baert Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (US), 2022 and Wild Shade at Informality Gallery, London (UK), 2021. She was included in the group exhibition The Kingfisher’s Wing, curated by Tom Morton at GRIMM, New York, NY (US), 2022. Her work has also been featured in numerous group shows including New British Abstraction, CICA, Vancouver (CA), Considering Female Abstractions, Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas, TX (US), 2023; Sabrina, curated by Russell Tovey, Sim Smith, London (UK); New Romantics, The Artist Room at Lee Eugean Gallery, Seoul (KR); Down in Albion at L.U.P.O. Lorenzelli Projects, Milan, (IT) in 2022; Le coeur encore, The approach, London (UK), 2021; Diaries of a Climate, Baert Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (US), 2021; and London Grads Now, Saatchi Gallery, London (UK), 2020.
Mollett’s work can be found in the Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas, TX (US); He Art Museum, Foshan (CN); Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL (US); K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong (HK); Kunstmuseum, The Hague (NL); Pond Society, Shanghai (CN); the Rachofsky Collection, Dallas, TX (US); The Roberts Institute of Art, London (UK) and The University of Oxford, St Hilda’s College Art Collection, Oxford (UK), amongst others.