Tom of Finland's work helped define a queer generation. Read more below.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and Graeme Flegenheimer (El Club Detroit) present "TOM House: The Work and Life of Tom of Finland," opening Thursday at Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead at MOCAD.
The exhibition will feature work by Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920-1991) and incorporate artists who supported and admired his work over the years, including Richard Hawkins, Robert Mapplethorpe, Raymond Pettibon, Jim Shaw, and John Waters. The presentation will also include photographs, reference materials, and ephemera.
Tom of Finland’s drawings — remarkable not only for their masterful rendering, but also their fantastical representation of the male form — have been long celebrated for their radical role in broadening the popular understanding of queer experience in art. Placed in context with the work of his peers, the assemblage of these artworks engages a sensational narrative, one that helped define a generation.
The exhibition will remain on view through May 19.
4454 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201
Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland) early drawing
Provided by MOCAD.
Tom Of Finland Gouache On Paper Height 11.25/ Width: 8.38 Courtesy of the Tom of Finland Foundation
"Tom’s Finnish Tango", 1947 Graphite on paper 16.75x13.75" Wood frame
Tom of Finland Courtesy Tom of Finland Foundation and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Tom Of Finland Graphite On Paper Height: 11.06 / Width: 8.50 Courtesy of the Tom of Finland Foundation
Untitled (from "Motorcycle Thief" series), 1964 Graphite on paper