Stuart Shave/Modern Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of drawings by Tom of Finland. This show at Modern Art is comprised of some 30 figurative pencil drawings dating from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, each made as preparatory studies for the highly finished illustrations of gay visual identity for which Tom of Finland is internationally renowned. It is the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work held in Britain.
Tom of Finland was born Tuoko Laaksonen in Kaarina, Finland, in 1920. He lived and worked in Finland for the majority of his life, travelling frequently to the United States. He died at the age of 71 in Helsinki, Finland. Tom of Finland’s work has been included in the exhibitions Keep Your Timber Limber, ICA, London (2013); The Collectors, Nordic and Danish Pavilions, 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2009); Compass in Hand, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA (2009), travelling to IVAM, Valencia, Spain (2010), and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany (2011); Protest and Survive, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2000); Made in California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2000); The 1991 Whitney Biennial (with Group Material), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA (1991); and the New Museum, New York, USA (1989). His work is held in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, NY, USA; Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, USA.