Tom of Finland: Love and Liberation at House of Illustration

Next March, the House of Illustration will open the UK’s first public solo exhibition of works by gay cultural icon Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen), in partnership with the Tom of Finland Foundation and the Finnish Institute in London.

The exhibition, which will coincide with the centenary of the artist’s birth, will honour the artist whose homoerotic, male-dominated and sexually-charged illustrations had a significant impact on gay communities around the world during a pivotal time in LGBTQI+ history, and the medium of drawing.

The exhibition will feature previously masterful unseen works which continue to have a remarkable influence today. Tom of Finland: Love and Liberation will display 40 works on paper produced from the 1960s to the 1980s, both before and after homosexuality was decriminalised in much of Europe and the U.S.

Untitled, from ‘The Tattooed Sailor’ series, 1962 © Tom of Finland Foundation