tom house: the work and life of tom of finland.
the museum of contemporary art detroit (mocad), mike kelley foundation for the arts, and graeme flegenheimer (el club detroit) are pleased to present tom house: the work and life of tom of finland, opening april 19, 2018 at mike kelley’s mobile homestead at mocad.
in collaboration with tom of finland foundation, mike kelley’s mobile homestead will realize tom house: the work and life of tom of finland. the exhibition will feature work by tom offinland (touko laaksonen, finnish, 1920-1991) and incorporate artists who supported and admired his work over the years, including richard hawkins, robert mapplethorpe, raymond pettibon, jim shaw, and john waters. the presentation will also include photographs, reference materials, and ephemera.
tom of finland’s drawings – remarkable not only for their masterful rendering, but also their fantasticalrepresentation of the male form – have been long celebrated for their radical role in broadening the popular understanding of queer experience in art. placed in context with his peers, the assemblage of these artworks engages a sensational narrative, one that helped define a generation.
tom spent the last decade of his life between finland and tom house in echo park, los angeles, california. the exhibition will evoke the spirit of the home where tom had his studio and lived during his final years. tom spent his career challenging the boundaries of art and social engagement, be it through his craft or thematic pursuits. placed in context with his contemporaries, the presented survey seeks to highlight the work of queer artists across the globe and carry out the mission of protecting, preserving and promoting queer art.