Art 101

How to Pronounce Artists' Names, Vol. 1

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How to Pronounce Artists' Names, Vol. 1
The artist Ed Ruscha

The art world isn't really as snobbish as depicted in movies and TV shows like Bravo's Gallery Girls, and it's apt to be liberally forgiving of most uncouth behavior… with one notable exception: you can't get away with mispronouncing artists' names. Imagine you're jetting with Dakis Joannou (pronounced: Dock-is Zho-nu) off to his Deste (pronounced: Des-tay) Foundation on the Greek island of Hydra (pronounced: Hee-dra), and former Venice Biennale (pronounced: bee-a-nah-le) curator Bice Curiger (pronounced: Bee-chay Courage-er) brings up French neoclassical portraiture-if you say your favorite painter is Jean Dominique Ingres and pronounce it "Ing-gres" instead of "Aang," you're sure to be met with icy silence. No one wants that. To ensure you avoid such embarrassments, consult our handy guide to pronouncing some of the thorniest artist names out there.

Albert Oehlen - UR-lin
Alexandre Singh - SING
Allora & Calzadilla - a-LO-ra & cal-za-DEE-ya
Anh Duong - AHN DWONG
Anish Kapoor - Ah-NEESH Kah-POOR
Annette Messager - MESS-ah-ZHAY
Anselm Kiefer - ann-selm KEE-fur
Apichatpong Weerasethakul - a-PEE-shaat-pong We're-ASS-it-a-cool (he also goes by "Joe")
Aziz + Cucher - a-ZEEZ + KUTCHER
Berthe Morisot - BEAR-t More-RI-zoh
Cai Guo-Qiang - TSAI gwo-CHIANG
Cao Fei - TSOW fay
Christian Jankowski - yang-COUGH-skI
Claes Oldenburg - KLOSS
Cyprien Gaillard - SIP-rien GAY-yar
Dan Flavin - FLAY-vin
Daniel Guzman - dawn-YELL goose-MAWN
David Salle - SALLY
David Wojnarowicz - voy-nah-ROW-vitch
Diane Arbus - DEE-ahn
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster - Gon-ZA-lez FORE-ster
Donald Baechler - BATCH-ler
Eadweard Muybridge - Edward MY-bridge
Ed Ruscha - Roo-SHAY
Edvard Munch - ED-vard MOOnk
Edward Burtynsky - bur-TIN-skee
El Anatsui - El ah-nah-TSOO-eee
Elle Muliarchyk - MOO-lee-ar-chick
Emily Jacir - jah-SEER
Enoc Perez - E-knock
Eva Hesse - AY-va HESS-uh (though in the U.S. she chose to pronounce it "Hess")
Fang Lijun - FONG lee-JUNE
Fischli/Weiss - FISH-lee/VICE
Francesco Clemente - fran-CHESS-ko kle-MEN-te
Gabriel Kuri - GAH-bree-elle KOO-ri
Gabriel Orozco - GAH-briel Or-ROZ-co
Ghada Amer - GAH-da ah-MARE
Gillian Wearing - JILL-ian WE'RE-ing
Glenn Ligon - LIE-gone
Guido van der Werve - GEE-do VAN der VAIRVE
Guillermo Kuitca - gee-YERR-mo KWEET-ka
Hermann Nitsch - HAIR-man NEE-tch
Hernan Bas - BAAS
Jackson Pollock - PAH-luck
James Nares - NAH-res
James Winogrand - Winn-o-grand
Jem Southam - GEM SUTH-um
Jenny Holzer - HOLE-zer
Jenny Saville - SAH-ville
Jesper Just - YES-per YOOST
Joan Miró - Joo-AHN Me-ROH
John Baldessari - ball-de-SAH-ree
Jonas Mekas - JOE-nas MEE-kass
Joseph Beuys - BOYS
Josephine Meckseper - MEK-se-per
Juergen Teller - YUR-gen
Julie Mehretu - MARE-eh-too
Kalup Linzy - KAY-lup LIN-zee
Karen Kilimnik - kill-LIMN-nick
Käthe Kollwitz - KAY-tuh KOLL-vitz
Kehinde Wiley - keh-HIN-day WHILE-ey
Keren Cytter - ker-REN TSEE-ter
László Moholy-Nagy - Mo-HA-lee NADGE
Lawrence Weiner - WHEE-ner
Leon Golub - GO-lube
Liam Gillick - LEE-am GILL-ick
Lisa Yuskavage - yus-CAH-vitch
Marcel Broodthaers - BROT-hairs
Marina Abramovic - ah-BRA-mo-vitch
Mark Dion - Mark DIE-on
Marlene Dumas - mar-LANE doo-MAH
Mircea Cantor - Meer-TCHA CON-tour
Nam June Paik - Nahm June PAKE
Nathan Mabry - MAY-bree
Olaf Breuning - BRUNE-ing
On Kawara - Own Ka-WA-ra
Os Gemeos - OSE ZHEM-e-os
Pae White - PAY White
Pat Steir - Pat STEER
Paul Klee - CLAY
Philip Taaffe - TAYF
Pierre Huyghe - HWEEG
Rachel Whiteread - White-REED
Ragnar Kjartansson - RAG-nar KYAR-tans-son
Raymond Pettibon - PEH-tee-bahn
Rineke Dijkstra - REEN-eh-kuh DIKE-stra
Rirkrit Tiravanija - RIRK-writ tee-RAH-va-nit
Rivane Neuenschwander - ri-VAN-knee NOY-un-shwunder
Romare Bearden - Roam-MARE
Salvador Dalí­ - da-LI
Sarah Sze - ZEE
Sebastião Salgado - Se-BASS-tee-ah-oh sal-GAA-do
Tavares Strachan - ta-VAH-res STRAWN
Théodore Géricault - tay-oh-DOOR jay-ree-KO
Thomas Demand - DAY-mond
Thomas Eakins - AY-kins
Tom Nozkowski - Nahzz-COW-ski
Tomma Abts - TOE-ma Abts
Tony Feher - FAY-her
Udomsak Krisanamis - ooh-DUM-sack chris-ANNA-miss
Ugo Rondinone - OO-go Ron-di-NO-nay
Ursula von Rydingsvard - RIDINGS-vard
Valeska Soares - Su-A-res
Vija Celmins - VEE-ya Sell-muns
Vik Muniz - MOO-knees
Wangechi Mutu - Wang-GAY-she Moo-too
Warren Neidich - Warren NIGH-dic
Wayne Thiebaud - TEE-bo
Willem de Kooning - Vill-hem de KOON-ing
Wolfgang Staehle - VOLF-gahng SCHTEH-luh
Xaviera Simmons - Zai-VEER-ria
Xu Bing - SHOO Bing
Yinka Shonibare - YEEN-ka show-knee-BAH-reh
Yutaka Sone - yoo-TAH-kah SOH-neh
Zhang Huan - JHANG HOO-ahn

RELATED LINKS:
Art 101: How to Pronounce Artists' Names, Vol. 2

Email submissions for other difficult artist names and their pronunciations to andrew@artspace.com (only established artists will make the cut)

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