AUSTERE’S EXHIBITION OF ARTIST RUGS AND PILLOWS CELEBRATES THE WORK OF TOM OF FINLAND

Tom of Finland rug.  Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

Tom of Finland rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

In a welcome confluence of progressive sensibilities, Austere, the innovative showcase of Scandinavian design in downtown Los Angeles, is hosting an exhibition of artist carpets and pillows crafted by the Swedish luxury rugmaker Henzel Studio. The show, Henzel Studio: Collaborations/Heritage, marks the U.S. debut of new carpet designs by Nan Goldin, Richard Phillips, and Helmut Lang, as well as the launch of a capsule collection dedicated to the artist Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920–1991).

Richard Phillips rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

Richard Phillips rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

The opening comes at an intriguing moment for Tom of Finland, when the undersung artist’s hypermasculine, homoerotic imagery is being reexamined and recontextualized within the canon of 20th-century art. (A survey of his six-decade career opens June 14 in New York at the influential nonprofit gallery Artists Space.)

Helmut Lang rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

Helmut Lang rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

Created in collaboration with Tom of Finland Foundation, the floor covering line comprises 12 hand-tufted carpets and one fantastic, freeform hand-knotted rug, all made in Nepal of silk and wool. (For those Tom aficionados who can’t quite afford a high-end handmade carpet, the offering also includes three rather alluring cash-and-carry pillows.) The collection is ultimately a testament to both the revolutionary vision of Tom of Finland and the extraordinary craftsmanship of Henzel Studio, which has miraculously captured the artist’s mastery of line, form, and shadow.

Through August 14 at Austere, 912 South Hill Street, Los Angeles

Mayer Rus

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