Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt:
Tender Love Among the Junk

November 18, 2012–April 7, 2013

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt’s mixed-media constructions, collages, and installations are marked by a trashy opulence concocted from household items and dollar stores. Mimicking Byzantine decoration with cellophane, aluminum foil, tinsel and glitter, Lanigan-Schmidt (American, b. 1948) pioneered a maximalist aesthetic in the late 1960s that explored gay sexuality, class struggle, and religion. Mingling high with low, and sacred with profane, Lanigan-Schmidt bucked the reductive tastes of conceptualism and minimalism that dominated his youth, creating a radically decorative practice that, despite its influence, has never been properly assimilated into the history of American art. 


  • Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt. Lollipop Knick Knack (Let's Talk About You). c. 1968-69. Mixed media. 9 x 16 x 5 1/2 inches. Courtesy Pavel Zoubok Gallery. Photo: Courtesy Schroeder Romero & Shredder.

  • Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt. The Infant of Prague as a Personification of Liberation Theology. 1986. Mixed media on pane. 49 x 36 inches. Courtesy International Collage Center.

  • Installation view of Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt: Tender Love Among the Junk at MoMA PS1, 2012. © MoMA PS1; Photo: Matthew Septimus.

  • Installation view of Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt: Tender Love Among the Junk at MoMA PS1, 2012. © MoMA PS1; Photo: Matthew Septimus.

  • Installation view of Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt: Tender Love Among the Junk at MoMA PS1, 2012. © MoMA PS1; Photo: Matthew Septimus.

 

Organized by Peter Eleey, Curator, MoMA PS1, with Jocelyn Miller, Curatorial Assistant.

The exhibition is made possible by the MoMA PS1 Annual Exhibition Fund.

Images, header: (1–3) Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt. The Infant of Prague as a Personification of Liberation Theology (detail). 1986. Mixed media on pane. 49 x 36 inches. Courtesy International Collage Center. (4) Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt. Lollipop Knick Knack (Let's Talk About You). c. 1968-69. Mixed media. 9 x 16 x 5 1/2 inches. Courtesy Pavel Zoubok Gallery, Photo Credit: Schroeder Romero & Shredder.