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TOM OF FINLAND @ FRIEZE NEW YORK | 3rd – 6th May

TOM OF FINLAND, Untitled (From “Camping”), 1976, Graphite on paper, 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches (29.8 x 21 cm), framed: 17 1/4 x 13 5/8 x 1 1/2 inches (43.8 x 34.6 x 3.8 cm)

David Kordansky Gallery shows a solo presentation of historic work by Tom of Finland in For Your Infotainment: Hudson and Feature Inc., a special section of Frieze New York 2018. Curated by Matthew Higgs, the section celebrates the legacy of the influential, maverick dealer Hudson (1950-2014) and the artists he showed at his gallery Feature Inc. in Chicago and New York. For Your Infotainment highlights Hudson’s uncompromising vision and commitment to personal aesthetic principles.

Hudson presented solo shows of Tom of Finland’s work in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was an early advocate for the exhibition of his drawings in a contemporary art context. This presentation will include works made in a variety of media, among them rare pen and ink pictures, highly detailed pencil renderings, and preparatory drawings that reflect both the artist’s virtuosic hand and the development of his thinking and passions.

Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920-1991) was one of the most influential creators of homoerotic imagery in the 20th century. His work can be approached along several interpretive lines, each of which points to the revolutionary nature of his project. He gave form to an imaginative universe that in turn helped fuel real-world liberation movements and enabled gay men to access their strength in new ways. And for people of all genders and orientations, his vision of pleasure reaffirms the centrality of sexuality and the body throughout human endeavor. Tom’s drawings therefore function, on the one hand, as joyful images of what true freedom looks like.

The physicality in the scenes Tom depicts finds a parallel in the beauty and sophistication of the drawings themselves. In this respect, his work can be seen as a major contribution to the development of figurative art and the representation of the male body. This presentation will enable viewers to see how his techniques evolved over time and according to the contexts for which they were being made. It includes works produced over a 45-year span (1944 to 1989); some are delicately shaded tableaux that would eventually appear in reproduction in underground publications, while others are faster, looser drawings that feel more private and less formal. In all cases, the works reveal Tom to be a master draftsman whose passion for both his medium and his subject matter enabled his project to become a powerful cultural force.

TICKETS

Tom of Finland is currently the subject of the solo exhibition, TOM House: The Work and Life of Tom of Finland, at Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, on view through 19th May.

 

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HUDSON – MEMORIALS | 6th & 7th October | NYC

2014envoy-hudson-show-55

A memorial group exhibition 

Artists: Anonymous, Joe Brainard, Jeff Burton, Larry Clark, Arnold Fern, Tom of Finland, Jason Fox, Chris Hammerlein, Martin of Holland, Peter Huttinger, Tyler Ingolia, Jim Isermann, G.B. Jones, Richard Kern, Kinke Kooi, Sean Landers, Kevin Larmon, Judy Linn, Raymond Pettibon, Kay Rosen, Rene Santos, Lily Van der Stokker, Gary Winogrand, B. Wurtz.

6th, 6-8p
Runs through the 12th
envoy enterprises, 109 Norfolk Street, NYC 10002

Hudson-Memorial-invite2

A program of speakers and refreshments

All Are Welcome

7th, 7p
Judson Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC 10012

HUDSON | FEATURE INC

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‘LET’S GO LET GO: IN MEMORIAM HUDSON’ AT 33 ORCHARD

ISABELLA KIRKLAND, We Were So Lucky, 2014, acrylic, four-leafed clovers, oil paint on rag board, 15½" x 24". COURTESY 33 ORCHARD, NEW YORK

ISABELLA KIRKLAND, We Were So Lucky, 2014, acrylic, four-leafed clovers, oil paint on rag board, 15½” x 24″.
COURTESY 33 ORCHARD, NEW YORK

LET’S GO LET GO, an inspiring tribute to the late Hudson, who died suddenly on February 10, included approximately 70 works by artists who showed at his gallery, Feature, Inc.

Feature opened in Chicago in 1984 with a show of appropriated photographs by Richard Prince. The gallery moved to New York in 1988, at which point the program evolved toward quirky abstractions and sexually provocative photography by Richard Kern, homoerotic drawings by Tom of Finland, and creepy surrealist oils by Alexander Ross.

Curator Jane Kim began this tribute with four small tantric paintings made by an anonymous Rajasthani artist in 1985—a reminder of Hudson’s indifference to distinctions between folk art, fine art, and design. His attraction to meditative forms was also evident in Sam Gordon’s Untitled (Sweepings), 2011, a representation of circled chain links on mirrored Plexiglas adorned with debris from Gordon’s studio floor. Among the memorial pieces was Anne Doran’s poignant Untitled (2011). Knitted for Hudson, an unfinished green-and-brown sock was fastened to the wall with a shocking-pink pushpin—a tribute to Hudson’s unique color sense.

Hudson was once a dancer, and a video played of his 1978–79 performance Poodle Theater Part 1, in which he rolls on the floor and displays the humor that endeared him to everyone.

BY Elisabeth Kley

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