New York

Thomas Lanigan Schmidt

Holly Solomon Gallery

Thomas Lanigan Schmidt has long made a practice of using degraded materials to invoke Catholic ritual, emphasizing its importance as a backdrop for personal experience. Much more than mere simulacra of opulent ritual objects, his installations have often evoked lived experience, reflecting, among other things, the tinselly beauty of urban life. His most recent works—the “Byzantine Neo-Platonic Rectangles,” 1986–93, which are largely abstract, though they often incorporate faux jewels in delightful arrangements made of plastic wrap wadded and “set” in foil—continue to conjure up the sensuousness of many Medieval devotional objects, as well as the splendor of Byzantine icons.

The “rectangles” are 30 resplendent, mixed-media collages on wood. Each is encrusted with layers of decoration—much of it geometric—a glittery, tessellated patchwork in a prismatic range of color, shimmering from turquoise

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