HENZEL STUDIO is pleased to invite you to the unveiling of the VR-exhibition TOM OF FINLAND Drawings Reappropriated at Frozen Palms Gallery Los Angeles / Bastad. This exhibition has been developed in honor of PRIDE to highlight Tom of Finland’s undeniable influence as an artist and human rights activist.

Frozen Palms Gallery is pleased to announce a virtual exhibition that highlights Tom of Finland’s preparatory drawings and sketches created as part of the artist’s process in producing his influential works. A selection of these, reappropriated by Henzel Studio (Est. 1999 Sweden) into 13 editioned handmade wool and silk rugs in 2014, will be on view and accompanied by 8 virtual replicas of corresponding drawings made available by Tom of Finland Foundation. The exhibition will also include 4 chromogenic printed velour rugs that feature unique Tom of Finland collages made by Joakim Andreasson.

The woven works, many unseen or ever reproduced, feature portraits, scenes depicting camaraderie, homoerotic gaze, flirtation and sexual acts. One drawing outlines a man engaged in a boot fetish scene, another a nipple flirtation, whereas a third, a f**k scene, bringing new meaning to love making on a rug. A single hand knotted rug, entirely woven by hand over the course of five months, depicts one of Tom of Finland’s most iconic works of a “leatherman” wearing a cap. The drawing was made as a study for the visual identity of the gay leather bar TOM’S SALOON, the only place Tom lent his name to. Made with comparable intricacy as the original drawing, it is free form and in select areas enhanced with silk to add shine and replicate the effect of polished leather and graphite of the artist’s pencil.

Virtual replicas of drawings that correspond to the rugs showcase the artist’s diverse material approaches to his meticulous figurations - including sharp pen and marker linework, ink washes, and delicate pencil shading.
They exemplify the boldness of his vision and the virtuoso qualities of his hand. With their skillful observation of light and classical composition, and their images of muscular men engaged in complex motions, the drawings reveal formal concerns that call to mind the work of Caravaggio and Rembrandt.
— David Kordansky Gallery, 2021

The exhibition is topped off with 4 handmade collages by Joakim Andreasson that are featured on chromogenic printed velour rugs. These are inspired by the numerous collage montages that can be found at TOM House - home of Tom of Finland Foundation - covering entire pieces of furniture, in nooks on walls and ceilings, and even on the rear end of a vintage car. The featured collages are composed of proof prints from vintage Tom of Finland books published b the Foundation in the 80s, pages from original PHYSIQUE PICTORIAL magazines from the 60s-70s and other printed material accumulated over the past thirty years. The dense works illustrate the vast styles and technique of the artists, and offer a visually stunning and unfiltered insight into Tom of Finland’s work.
The integration Tom of Finland’s work into the media at hand was ignited by the unique environment and interior elements of TOM House. Located in Echo Park, Los Angeles, it is home of Tom of Finland Foundation, guardians of the artist’s body of work and living archive for the erotic arts, and where Tom lived for the last decade of his life. Founded in 1984, it a place wher Tom’s relentlessly butch aesthetic and drawings mingle with different style of décor, artifacts, rotating art displays and open air installations. It is a place that is marked by a community that disarms shame and judgment, and promotes Tom’s message of encouraging respect, acceptance and love through art.

The rugs have previously been exhibited worldwide with an unveil in the  windows of Colette (Paris), followed by exhibitions at Austere (Los Angeles) Tanja Grunert Gallery (New York), JOYCE (Hong Kong) and CULTUREEDIT (Los Angeles). 

This exhibition has been timed to coincide with PRIDE Month to highlight’s Tom of Finland’s undeniable influence as an artist and human rights activist.
The exhibition is powered by ARTLAND and will be on view at the link below through July 10 – September 30. Immersive 3D technology allows viewers to experience our entire exhibition as if they were walking around the gallery in person.

Images: TOM OF FINLAND, Untitled, 1977 (top), Graphite on paper, TOM OF FINLAND, Untitled, 1977 (above), Handmade carpet (tufted), Wool, Edition of 50, Designed and made by Henzel Studio
© Tom of Finland Foundation

View in VR
Frozen Palms Gallery Los Angeles / Bastad
Tom of Finland Foundation