You only have to glance at a work by Germain Dolan, not to understand, but to recognise in an instant the work of a natural painter, someone who has an unerring instinct for pictorial organisation. This is not meant to imply facility, is to say that her work is as felicitous as practically everything that Mozart wrote. And like this music, its humanity means that it has potential of hardy perennial. And by humanity is meant that it equates with the human condition – a kaleidoscope of pain and pleasure, hard and soft, warm and cool.
Dolan has an eloquent vocabulary of motifs which never look like mere devices. Broadly brushed-in areas can cohabit naturally with circles, chevrons and dribbles; even when a painting is crowded with marks, dots, splashed and squiggles, it never looks noisy or cluttered. And the same generosity informs Dolan’s colour sense; she can integrate an astonishing chromatic scale in a single work. It’s the whole thing that counts; in isolation any part of a painting is as meaningless as part of the human form on its own, as far off-putting as the surface of the moon close-to. It’s the moon seen from afar, the whole of a person one loves, the whole of a painting that matters. the totality of a painting by Dolan is consoling, contemplable and lustrous.