"The first picture I ever bought was The National Gallery (1914 -1973) by Edward Wakefield. Forty years on, what I still love about this painting are the people, captured in the time capsule of the swinging 60's. The mini-skirted blond with her launderette bag, the grand fur-coated lady surely chauffeured to the galley, the bright red riding hood lady, phallic in composition, red as a London Bus. The drainpipe suited attendant, almost certainly dreaming in a different beat, the Fashionista lady and her country friend catching up on the gossip and then "Vincent" with his unkept mane and paint splattered jeans looking, learning waiting to be for his creative brain to be unblocked.
"This same observational eye portraying life's hustle and bustle enlivens Alexander's work. We recognise his characters by their behaviour. We know what each is thinking, saying, whispering and wishing. Desires meet the devil, mischief amuses, humour confronts us, fact or fantasy and we laugh when we know we shouldn't. Alex, says 'I enjoy walking through my mind as if it were a forest. I pick out here and there something of interest that I feel like expressing and exploring more deeply through the act of drawing. I am not trying to find anything in particular, other than my own bliss'.
"'The loose brushwork of Nolan's imagery is direct and fresh. He is recording his imaginations without hesitation, like any good writer would, and his bold use of colour supports the works' dreamlike qualities as it sets the mood, be it playful or suspect.'
"Drawing from Alex's 'Inner world with a consciousness of the past', much of his technique is inspired by the collections held in the great museums of New York City. Breughel's village, the light and dance of Matisse, the surreal world of Magritte, and admiringly from Felix Vallotton's, portraits of domestic life, with their flat area of colours. These sensitive observations, brought to life with a simplification of line and a wry if not satirical wink.
"'I continue to be captivated with the visual world that exists outside of me.' Alex Nolan, so do we."
- Nick Crean