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Annice Fell: 'Balancing Act'

19 January - 17 February, 2024

13 Tottenham Mews, London 


Private View:  18 January, 6-8 pm


lbf contemporary is delighted to announce ‘BALANCING ACT’, the debut solo exhibition of British artist Annice Fell.


‘The fulcrum upon which Annice Fell’s paintings find their flow and voice their fortitude – if not necessarily any denouement or equilibrium – is an effervescence of tension, articulated by a series of binary antagonisms – be they born of plane, paint, or process – that, in their contest, imbue Fell’s surface with a lyrical ebullience that registers itself as a lavish cryptanalysis of colour.


Underpinning Fell’s desire for such delicious conflict is her equal desire to orchestrate gesture to evince a surface simultaneously interior and exterior - abbreviated then expanded by acts inclusive and excluding – that speaks to the seduction of a discombobulation physical, psychological, and indexical. This begins with the concours between a ground that starts with a found and predisposed mark delivered by a monoprint, providing an albeit amoebic architecture against which Fell’s painted marks riff, dance, and sing. An irony thus chuckles in the background of Fell’s paintings; one that denotes the oxymoronic relationship between the ubiquity of the hand-painted mark, and the ghostly dubiety of the found mono-printed mark, achieved through an act of removal, with which it nevertheless tries to tango.


However, these two crafts do, indeed, dance together in Fell’s paintings. Her employment of the monoprint speaks to Surrealist precursors and particularly the automatist technique of decalcomania and it is the accidentality innate to that method, coupled with the fortuity of her own hand, that is the very DNA of this exhibition, and which marries the two pursuits: distinct yet contradistinctive in such clever juxtaposition. Fell’s work does not seek to not arrive at, complete or offer any conclusion. It seeks to explore and expound upon a liminal space that leads us to the edge of illumination and invites new ways, not of seeing, but of searching for both matter and meaning.


The acts that Fell wants to balance are those agencies rooted in the drama and interconnectedness of body, space, and time. The pressure of her body choreographing the density of her mark making across a specific plane in a specific moment can shift radically, with such distinction effected consciously and subconsciously. As such a spontaneity of colour sparks a labyrinth of form across all these paintings, proposing a theatre of gesture that is both staged yet reactionary. Marks may appear rehearsed, yet they jar and delight like ad libs, skiing off-piste from Fell’s supposed script. It is only at that point, where chance and choice coalesce, that the impact of her presence and the presence of that impact is most powerfully and personally transcribed, then felt by the artist. Only then will she step away from that particular journey in and with paint, not in the knowledge that the painting is finished, but in the comfort that it has arrived at some form of settlement, with her as go-between and with itself as object and odyssey.


In the final analysis Fell’s paintings act as a quest not for some crown of fact but for the laurels of authenticity. Hers is a process that rather than decides, debates; rather than depicts, digests: acts of painting (and printing) that finds some synergy between taxonomies of manipulation and mediation. The result are electrifying surfaces that blossom in the action and reaction of becoming, rather than dwell on the fixity of being or having been. Surfaces that probe, investigate, quarrel, and then make up with themselves and, in such flux, convey the absolute joy Fell has for this discipline and the copious capacity she has when interrogating the art and act of painting.’ – Matt Carey-Williams


Annice Fell

Born 1997, London

Lives and works in London, UK


Annice Fell graduated from the Masters Painting Programme at the Royal College of Art in 2023 and earned her BA in Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL in 2020. Fell's work is held in numerous important private collections and was the recipient of the Betty Malcolm Prize and the Richard Ford Award. Highlights of recent group exhibitions include 'Pressing The Ear Against The Ground I Could Hear the Far Galloping Coming Near' at Samuele Vistentin, London (2023) and 'Nouvelle Vague' at Lbf Contemporary, London (2023).

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