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