At Brucennial, Harder to Get Into Than the Whitney Biennial, Unknowns Share Wall Space With Hirst and Schnabel

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Damien Hirst and others.

There was a large marquee above a storefront on Bleecker with huge red letters that spelled out BRUCENNIAL. The Bruce High Quality Foundation, the secretive artist collective that refuses to be photographed, will only do interviews over e-mail and runs a free art school called Bruce High Quality Foundation University, held the opening for its fourth Brucennial show last night, a massive group show that coincides with the Whitney Biennial. The similarities, however, pretty much stop there. BHQF, along with some of their friends, crammed work by some 400 artists inside a storefront space on Bleecker. There were canvases by students that had never shown their work before hanging next to Damien Hirst and Cindy Sherman. The work was on display floor to ceiling (and they were high ceilings), but to call this “salon style” is a bit too formal: it was more like a truly fantastic garage sale. The line to get inside stretched the length of Bleecker, snaked over to Washington Square Park and left people feeling a little irritable as they stood in the street in the drizzling rain.

“It’s harder to get into than the actual Whitney Biennial,” one restless hopeful attendee said somewhere around Sullivan Street, blocks away from the entrance. Read More


Want Fries With That Bruce High Quality Foundation? A Hip New Downtown Restaurant Dishes Up Art

From left: Houmard, Neidich and Schindler. (Photos courtesy of Patrick McMullan)

Quality restaurant art is nothing new, especially in New York. When it opened in the late ’50s, the Four Seasons Restaurant, in the iconic Seagrams Building, had art by Picasso, Miró and Jackson Pollock on the walls. (The dining room was meant to get a series by Mark Rothko, but he pulled out of the project, and the paintings now hang in three museums.) The food/art nexus may have culminated with the freewheeling 1970s, when Gordon Matta-Clark had his restaurant, Food, in Soho—compared with that, most restaurant offerings seem pretty staid. These days, you can go to Casa Lever, in the architecturally groovy Lever House, and gaze at myriad Warhol prints of celebrities—Hitchcock, Sly Stallone—while you’re eating your $52 “Costata” T-bone steak. And if you’re looking for something a bit more classical, there’s always Maxfield Parrish’s monumental mural, Old King Cole, which hangs elegantly above the bar in the St. Regis Hotel. But a new joint set to open by the end of the year is bringing New York restaurant art to a whole new level of downtown hipness. Read More