Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt


Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt on the politics of art school admissions, knick-knacks, and linguistic gate-keeping in contemporary art.


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

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt is a doggedly peripheral figure in an historic and cultural narrative in which he’s actually played a central role. He was out as gay before Stonewall (he’s one of the few surviving participants), he made “installations” before they were branded as such, and he has persisted in maintaining a relationship with the Catholic faith which was and is still highly suspect to the art world and activist liberal community.

I interviewed Tommy this past January in the Hell’s Kitchen apartment where he’s lived for four decades, to discuss his recent exhibit at MoMA PS1, Tender Love Among the Junk. The

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