Last chance to see… Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) …ends this Sunday, 8th September | ICA London

Tom of Finland

‘While restricted to drawing, the exhibition succeeds in demonstrating the medium’s extraordinary versatility.’ Frieze

‘…tightly curated and thought-provoking; a convincing introduction to how an apparently humble discipline continues to make its voice heard.’ London Evening Standard

‘…the ICA’s Keep Your Timber Limber show takes an unblushing look at sexuality in art.’ -Adrian Searle, Guardian

**** Critic’s Choice, Time Out London

TOM OF FINLAND (Finnish, 1920 – 1991)
Untitled, 1961, Graphite on paper
12.34” x 8.63”, ToFF #61.05
© 1961 Tom of Finland Foundation


From Style to Substance: Tom of Finland and Antonio Lopez | 7th September | London

Part of Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper), this afternoon of talks and screenings centres on Tom of Finland and Antonio Lopez. Although the two had divergent artistic trajectories, both had roots in advertising and maintained a keen focus on fashion – this event will explore these ideas, as well as discuss the particular poignancy of each practice, from the context in which they were working to their enduring legacy.


TOM OF FINLAND, Untitled (Preliminary drawing)
© 1975 Tom of Finland Foundation
Courtesy of Tom of Finland Foundation
ANTONIO LOPEZ, Gianni Versace Campaign 1984
© The Estate of Antonio Lopez and Juan Ramos
Courtesy of The Suzanne Geiss Company

Part I Noon – 4p

Noon – Durk Dehner in conversation with Dominic Johnson Durk Dehner (Tom of Finland Foundation), and Dominic Johnson (Queen Mary, University of London) give a contemporary perspective of the context in which Tom of Finland was working, from his peers.

2p – From the Margins to the Mainstream Fiona Anderson (University of York), Adrian Rifkin, Gary Everett (Homotopia) and exhibiting artist Cary Kwok explore the appropriation of the imagery of marginalised queer sexual cultures into the more mainstream art world, via Tom of Finland.

3.15p – Philip Aarons in conversation with Raymond Cha In the context of the historical import of serial publications and printed matter in relation to the dissemination of queer culture, especially as an integral element of Tom of Finland’s early practice, Philip Aarons (author of Queer ‘Zines) and Raymond Cha discuss the recent second edition of Queer ‘Zines. Followed by a book signing.

Part II 4.30p – 6.15p

4.30p – Art vs. Illustration Paul Caranicas (Antonio Lopez Foundation), Colin McDowell (fashion writer, journalist and academic) and Susan Dray (London College of Fashion) consider the notion of art vs. illustration in relation to the work of Antonio Lopez.

5.30p – Screening of Antonio’s World




ICA Cinematheque: Daddy and the Muscle Academy | 14th August | London

TOM OF FINLAND (Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled, 1966, Graphite on paper, 12.25” x 8.89”, ToFF #66.12, © 1966 Tom of Finland Foundation

TOM OF FINLAND (Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled, 1966, Graphite on paper, 12.25” x 8.89”, ToFF #66.12, © 1966 Tom of Finland Foundation

The documentary Daddy and the Muscle Academy is the story of gay artist Tom of Finland. The viewer is treated to hundreds of vividly rendered portraits of male models, ranging from Drummer Daddies to fellow artists. Tom’s sketches and paintings are grouped by subject matter, with emphasis on various forms of fetishism. The film includes interviews with the artist’s models, associates and intimates, not to mention a dramatized journey into ‘Tom’s soul’.

Daddy and the Muscle Academy, dir. Ilppo Pohjola, Finland 1991, 58 mins, 35mm

£10 / £8 concessions / £7 ICA Members

Wednesday, 7:00 pm