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 of Finland (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 fantastical representation 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. In partnering with Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, the exhibition will evoke the spirit of the home where Tom had his studio and lived during his final years. In their own way, both Tom and Mike spent their careers challenging the boundaries of art and social engagement, be it through their craft or thematic pursuits. The coupling of the two Foundations seeks to highlight the work of Queer artists across the globe and carry out the mission of protecting, preserving and promoting Queer art.
The exhibition will remain on view through May 19, 2018.
This exhibition contains work for mature audiences. Adults must preview before entering with young audiences.
The Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead is commissioned by Artangel in association with MOCAD, LUMA Foundation and Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts with the generous support of the Artangel International Circle. Support for the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead is provided by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
Presenting sponsor for TOM HOUSE: The Life and Work of Tom of Finland is provided by Equality Michigan. Generous support is provided by Nicole + Stephen Eisenberg and Jeff + Loren Gillis Newsom.