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The Bruce High Quality Foundation. Courtesy of Cueto Project.

The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Empire

Cueto Project
551 West 21st Street, 212-299-2221
Chelsea
February 13 - April 11, 2009
Reception: Friday, February 13, 6 - 8 PM
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New York, NY: The Bruce High Quality Foundation, the official arbiter of the estate of the late social sculptor, Bruce High Quality, is pleased to announce the exhibition, Empire, at Cueto Project (551 w. 21st) opening on Friday the 13th of February, 2009. Concomitant with the impending financial meltdown of the galaxy, and in the spirit of elaborating on political metaphors by way of natural events, Empire re-imagines New York City as a pastiche of Utopian visions through photographic historical interventions, dis-temporal allegorical paintings, broken statuary, and unrealizable urban planning models.

Catskills, NY: Thomas, hold back my hair, I’m going to be sick. In 1835, occupied in his studio mulling over a book of Roman etchings, Thomas Cole did not hear Maria Bartow vomiting into a porcelain chamber pot. If he had heard her, would he have held her hair? The child would be stillborn, but the marriage would prove convenient for dispelling rumors of the young painter’s otherwise inconvenient sexual appetite. Perhaps she could have said something. One year later, Cole completed his allegorical series The Course of Empire bringing him fame but not immediate fortune. And so he stayed on in the Catskills, painting landscapes for summering New York City financiers and impregnating Maria three more times. In 1841 he left for Italy where he lived peaceably enough with the sculptor Horatio Greenough while Maria stayed behind amongst the living: Mary, Emily, and Thomas.

Queens, NY: Upon arriving on the site of what would be the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Robert Moses stepped out of a Bantam Roadster and onto the green, green grass, and began his presentation to the impatient audience of financiers gathered in the unkempt meadow that torpid summer morning: “Gentlemen, let’s broaden our minds. We stand at the crossroads to the future, at the advent of a new dawn for humankind. Let prosperity for all be your charge.”

Moses then proceeded to lead his people on a tour of the land that would be the Land of Tomorrow. “And here will be the Trylon and Perisphere,” he motioned to a patch of wildflowers, “and there will be the token booth.” The otherwise churlish Moses grinned broadly. Far, Far Away, NY: A long time ago, in a galaxy, far, far away… It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire, the price of oil is dropping, and I’m going to be sick. ... The Bruce High Quality Foundation, the official arbiter of the estate of Bruce High Quality, is dedicated to the preservation of the legacy of the late social sculptor, Bruce High Quality. In the spirit of the life and work of Bruce High Quality, we aspire 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. Professional Challenges. Amateur Solutions.

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