The Bruce High Quality Foundation, an anonymous group of New York artists, works to create “an alternative to everything.” The assembly of Cooper Union graduates organizes performances, exhibitions, and educational events that question the commercialized structure of the art world, extricating themselves from its restrictions and expectations through their deliberate anonymity.
In 2005, when the Whitney Museum sponsored the creation of Robert Smithson’sFloating Island to Travel Around Manhattan Island from his unrealized instructions, the Bruce High Quality Foundation responded with its own performance, The Gate: Not the Idea of the Thing but the Thing Itself (2005) in which members pursued Smithson’s island in their own boat, towing an orange gate mirroring those used in Jeanne-Claude and Christo’s project in Central Park from the same year. In 2007, after Ugo Rondinone displayed a rainbow-coloured sign with the words “Hell Yes” on the front of the New Museum in New York, the Bruce High Quality Foundation suspended a banner on the back of the Museum, answering: “Heaven Forbid.”
The Bruce High Quality Foundation has been active since 1999, producing artworks across a wide range of media. In 2010, the Foundation was included in the Whitney Biennial while simultaneously hosting its own Brucennial, featuring over 400 artists. In the 2010 and 2012 iterations of the Brucennial, participants ranged from little known, emerging artists to Cindy Sherman and George Condo. The group’s multifarious forms of intervention put a mirror up to art world structures and expectations, at times presenting a jesting corrective.
In 2009, the group opened the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, a fully-functioning art school where “students are teachers are administrators are staff.” Furthering the Bruce High Quality Foundation’s reassessment of art education, the artists embarked (in a limousine painted to resemble a school bus) on a five-week, coast-to-coast road trip/lecture series in 2011 to “inspire and enable local art students to define the future of their own educational experience,” titled Teach 4 Amerika.