Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper), opening at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London on June 19, explores how artists since the 1940s to the present day have used drawing to address ideas critical and current to their time. With themes ranging from the politics of gender and sexuality to war and race, the exhibition brings together the work of eight artists – including the legendary gay artist Tom of Finland (1920-1991).
Tom of Finland is the acknowledged master of homoerotic art whose images of masculine men helped to smash stereotypes and create new diversity. Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991) by his real name, Tom of Finland has had a substantial effect on gay culture of the late 20th century. He’s one of the most renowned Finnish artists internationally.