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Mixed media on chalkboard by The Bruce High Quality Foundation

The Bruce High Quality Foundation

Public Education (White Disaster), 2011
Chalkboard, mixed media

48h x 96w x 3d in

© The Bruce High Quality Foundation Photo by Oto Gillen


Brooklyn’s beloved Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF) is having a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum. This is an insider show from a group that tries very hard to appear as outsiders while being completely fluent in artspeak, increasingly known as International Art English.

The Bruces, as they’re often affectionately referred to, are a group that aims to “invest the experience of public space with wonder, to resurrect art history from the bowels of despair, and to impregnate the institutions of art with the joy of man’s desiring,” in their own words. The problem with that is not everyone thinks art history really needs resurrecting from the “bowels of despair.” There are many artists, art groups, and collectives that are grappling with art history in diverse and interesting ways, but these kind of extreme statements reveal BHQF’s strengths — polemical statements that make you want to believe them — and weaknesses —insularity that makes you wonder if they are looking at the work of other artists enough.

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