The Easel

9th July 2024

The body, pleasure and play: Beryl Cook and Tom of Finland united in London

How serious is this new London show? Cook’s exuberant images feature working-class women with unapologetically ample proportions. Tom of Finland’s pioneering drawings of hypermasculine machismo define a lexicon of happy gay male imagery. Both artists loved to show “fleshy excesses”, notably “exquisite depictions of the bum while raising broader issues of gender, sexuality and class. Sighs one critic, “this is a small show, but I wouldn’t want more.“ Images are here.