When you walk into Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt's Tender Love Among the Junk at PS1, you are transplanted into a world that looks like the cafeteria of a Catholic boarding school decorated by its young students. But once you approach the pieces more closely, they reveal themselves as intricate, dream-like collages with incredible layers and details that include ephemera from a Día de los Muertos celebration, found relics from a fallen Byzantine Church, and a zine about hating Catholic school but loving Morrissey, published by a group of teenagers in the late 80s.
The exhibition is the largest survey of Langian-Schmidt's work to date, comprising 85 pieces that date from 1967 to 2005. There are altars of plastic wrap, cardboard stars spray-painted gold, and portraits done on aluminum serving dishes––the kind you buy for .50 cents at a bodega. This resourcefulness is not uncommon for the artist. Among his other materials are things you would find in a dollar store or discarded on the street: aluminum foils, plastic wraps, paper towel rolls, theatrical gels, candy wrappers. Because you find yourself worshiping icons made of "opulent trash," the exhibition becomes a humorous experience, like praying to a piece of toast on which the Virgin of Guadalupe has decided to appear.
Through April 1st, 2013. Images courtesy of MoMA PS1.
4601 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101 MAP