The Heiress   |   2000, oil on canvas, 40x30 inches/each canvas


As a figurative painter, Nicholas Zann explores human relationships. He often works with the diptych format, in which each panel contains one figure, or figures are juxtaposed with objects. The divide between the panels is telling about the relationships in which Zann's protagonists engage.

Men and women, children and adults, friends, lovers, competitors - they all face the truth of their nature by means of unusually direct pairings.

For instance, the image of a man and woman sharing a ride in a limousine, both looking outside the opposite window, says a lot about the lack of interpersonal warmth and loneliness. But it doesn't stop there. Zann is a storyteller. While he might just provide his audience with one frozen frame at a time, he leaves us guessing about what came before and what will come after. We are lured into a world in which the chain of coincidences determines the outcome. While immersing ourselves in Zann's paintings, we might learn less about the anonymous people before us than about ourselves.