Thursday, 02 October 2014
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Great Modern Artists A-Z

Teaching children that ‘d’ is for ‘dog’, or, say, ‘x’ is for ‘xylophone’ (a confusing concept for people of any age, thanks to the glorious quirks of the English language) is all very well and good.

Modern Artists Alphabet

Modern Artists Alphabet

But for the more art-oriented child (or indeed, adult), designer Andy Tuohy has created this lovely Great Modern Artists A-Z.

So now, ‘k’ is no longer for ‘kangaroo’, but for Frida Kahlo.

But how do you distil modern art into 26 iconic figures?

‘There are those that have to go in that couldn’t possibly not, like Dali and Picasso’, says Tuohy.

‘But some are very over subscribed – for “m” there’s Mondrian, Manet, Monet, Matisse, Magritte…And for “z” it was hard to find someone, but found Larry Zox and I loved his work. You can see his influence in a lot of modern graphic artists.’

Ben Nicholson

Ben Nicholson

In a cute appropriation of each artist’s style, Tuohy neatly distils the most recognisable characteristics of each of the artists. He says, ‘The idea was to try and repurpose each artist like a caricature in their own style.’

We see a bespectacled Hockney, cigarette in mouth, as a floating head in a pool:

David Hockney

David Hockney

Lichtenstein is all neatly suited, delineated in his signature dots, and the famously monobrowed Frida Kahlo is resplendent in her floral Mexican headdress:

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo


‘The bottom line is, why have one artist on your wall when you can have twenty six’, says Tuohy.

 The Great Modern Artists A-Z is available from galleries including Margate’s Turner Contemporary and Sheffield and Manchester galleries, and through Andy Tuohy’s website

Aleksander Rodchenko

Aleksander Rodchenko

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