June 11 - September 14, 2015
Los Angeles, CA


Henzel Studio Heritage: Tom of Finland
+ Henzel Studio Collaborations

Austere’s Exhibition of Artist Rugs and Pillows
Celebrates the Work of Tom of Finland
Tom of Finland rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.
TOM OF FINLAND rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

In a welcome confluence of progressive sensibilities, Austere, the innovative showcase of Scandinavian design in downtown Los Angeles, is hosting an exhibition of artist carpets and pillows crafted by the Swedish luxury rugmaker Henzel Studio. The show, Henzel Studio: Collaborations/Heritage, marks the U.S. debut of new carpet designs by Nan Goldin, Richard Phillips, and Helmut Lang, as well as the launch of a capsule collection dedicated to the artist Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920–1991).

RICHARD PHILLIPS rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.
RICHARD PHILLIPS rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

The opening comes at an intriguing moment for Tom of Finland, when the undersung artist’s hypermasculine, homoerotic imagery is being reexamined and recontextualized within the canon of 20th-century art. (A survey of his six-decade career opens June 14 in New York at the influential nonprofit gallery Artists Space.)

HELMUT LANG rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.
HELMUT LANG rug. Photography courtesy of Henzel Studio.

Created in collaboration with the Tom of Finland Foundation, the floor covering line comprises 12 hand-tufted carpets and one fantastic, freeform hand-knotted rug, all made in Nepal of silk and wool. (For those Tom aficionados who can’t quite afford a high-end handmade carpet, the offering also includes three rather alluring cash-and-carry pillows.) The collection is ultimately a testament to both the revolutionary vision of Tom of Finland and the extraordinary craftsmanship of Henzel Studio, which has miraculously captured the artist’s mastery of line, form, and shadow.

Mayer Rus, Architectural Digest

Tom of Finland: Up Close and Personal

A discussion with
Durk Dehner, Dian Hanson and F. Valentine Hooven III

Thursday, July 30, 7-10pm

Moderated by Joakim Andreasson
Conversation will begin promptly at 8pm

Durk Dehner, President, Tom of Finland Foundation
Dian Hanson, Editor, TASCHEN's Tom of Finland XXL
F. Valentine Hooven III, Author, Tom of Finland: Life and Work of a Gay Hero

Presented by Austere
in conjunction with the worldwide debut of
Henzel Studio Heritage: Tom of Finland
US debut of exclusive goods by État Libre d'Orange, Finlayson
The Posters, Rufskin and Tom of Finland Pleasure Tools

912 South Hill Street, 90015


Durk Dehner grew up in Alberta, Canada, and attended fine arts programs at The Allied Arts Center in Calgary, Alberta, the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and The Vancouver School of Fine Arts. Dehner cofounded Tom of Finland Foundation with Tom himself in 1984 to establish an archive for Tom’s life history and work. He modeled for photographers Bruce Weber and Ken Haak, and began working with Tom of Finland in 1978 as his public relations liaison. Dehner was instrumental in bringing Tom out of the underground and focusing public attention on his work. He continues as head of the Foundation, headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Dian Hanson began her publishing career as a magazine editor, helping found the 1970s hardcore journal Puritan, then moving on to Partner, OUI, Adult Cinema Review, Outlaw Biker and Big Butt, among others. She was most famously the editor of Juggs and Leg Show fetish magazines from 1987-2001. Since 2001 Hanson has held the position of Sexy Book Editor for art book publisher, TASCHEN, in which capacity she writes and edits all the sexually oriented titles for the company.

F. Valentine Hooven was born in Philadelphia and has spent much of his adult life in the theater, writing, designing, and acting regionally and in New York. Since leaving the theater in the mid-eighties, he has been a full-time freelance writer and illustrator, appearing in most of the popular gay publications of the 1980s and ’90s until focusing on Handjobs, which has published all of his erotic work since 1999. He is the author of the full-length biography, Tom of Finland – Life and Work of a Gay Hero, published by Bruno Gmünder Verlag, and an artist-member of Tom of Finland Foundation.

June 11 - September 14, 2015
Monday Thursday by Appointment · Friday and Saturday: 11am 7pm
912 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015  Map
(844) 287-8373
Austere Website

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"My drawings are primarily meant for guys who may have experienced misunderstanding and oppression and feel that they have somehow failed in their lives. I want to encourage them. I want to encourage this minority group, to tell them not to give up, to think positively about their act and whole being." (1990) — Tom of Finland