Alla Tkachuk’s paintings are a successful attempt to eke out the fascinating dichotomies are paradoxes that lie at the heart of the totalitarian systems, and can be seen as the artistic concomitant to the contributions of thinkers, historians and writers such as Professor Lord Bullock, Richard Overy, Michael Burleigh and Alain Besançon, and one can hardly have a finer intellectual pedigree than that. (An extract from the  introduction to Thentieth Century Dictators)

Writer and historian Lord Andrew Roberts, 2005

Alla Tkachuk’s Dictators’ images are powerful, disturbing, visceral. They go straight to the heart of some of the most urgent political questions of modern times – the relationship between power and the body, the denial of mortality in the cult of the hero, the role of shame and humiliation in the construction of the most dangerously fortified political identities. Tkachuk is increasingly placing herself as an original and significant artist of international stature whose work takes the role of portraiture in modern culture to a new, self-conscious, critical, dimension.

Professor Jacqueline Rose, 2006



Twentieth Century Dictators offered a seductive, novel and wholly malign passage from the private to the public psyche. Alla Tkachuk’s iconographies, individually and collectively, dissect that process, dwelling upon fetishism of the image, fantasies of cruelty and – inevitably and always – the nihilistic denial of the human element. In times of commercial and celebrity fuelled politics this is compulsive and cautionary work.

Professor Seán McConville, 2006


Alla Tkachuk combines the finest artistic proficiency with a courteous determination to question conventions; hidden connections, viewpoints, paradoxes and assumptions are then revealed. The power of art to open new patterns of understanding and debate is triumphantly evident in the Dictators’ series; the affection to the artist and the respect to her work now so apparent at the College bear witness to the influence which the series has had on this diverse and articulate community.

The Leverhulme Trust Director, Professor Sir Richard Brook, 2006