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Tom of Finland's homoerotic works coming to London in first major UK solo exhibition

The upcoming exhibition at London's House of Illustration will celebrate 100 years since artist Touko Laaksonen's birth.

2020-01-03

The iconic queer works of Tom of Finland will go on display in London this year as part of a new exhbition celebrating 100 years since the birth of artist Touko Laaksonen.

The House of Illustration in King's Cross, London, will host the first major solo art show dedicated to the late Finnish artist in March 2020, The Art Newspaper reports.

The exhbition, which will feature around 40 works dating from the 1960s-80s, will also include previously unseen works from the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles.

Born in southwestern Finland in 1920, Touko Laaksonen would go on to become one of the most influential gay artists of the century, drawing popular acclaim for his highly stylised homoerotic illustrations, which cunningly circumvented restrictive censorship laws of thw 1950s and '60s.

The curator of the upcoming London exhibition, Olivia Ahmad, said in a statement: "The exhibition will look at the significance of these images in gay culture, and will also consider the influence of Tom’s figures on pop culture and fashion, examining the way he showed men in police uniform for example, which was of course very subversive."

The upcoming Tom of Finland exhibition in London isn't the only way the birth of Touko Laaksonen is being marked - a popular gay porn site recently announced a three-part adult film series based on the artist's work starring model and infleuncer Matthew Camp.