Paulo Bruscky-Art is Our Last Hope, the first solo exhibition of work by Brazilian artist Paulo Bruscky, will open on September 19 at The Bronx Museum of the Arts. Bruscky has played a critical role in bringing major artistic movements-including Fluxus, mail art, and performance art—to Brazil from the time he began working in Recife in the aftermath of the military coup of 1964. He has also served as one of the most active and engaged voices representing Brazil in the global dialogue surrounding these movements. Art is Our Last Hope will feature 140 works made between 1971 and 2011 in a range of forms, including sculpture, performance documentation, mail art, and photography. The exhibition will be on view through February 9, 2014.
Paulo Bruscky was born in Recife, in northeastern Brazil, in 1949. Throughout his career, he has produced artworks inspired by everyday experiences that challenge audiences to think about how the world unfolds around them. Early in his career, Bruscky’s work reflected his resistance to Brazil’s military regime. In stark contrast with the clean aesthetics of the Concrete Art movement of the 1950s and 60s, Bruscky sought to create a form of art that could represent the atmosphere in Brazil under military rule. He did this by turning his eyes to the street and to the daily reality of common people, using his work to address the anonymity and impoverishment of the individual in the urban landscape and countering that experience with humor and linguistic wit. Despite being one of Brazil’s most important contemporary conceptual artists, Bruscky has earned his living working for a local hospital for the entirety of his career.
“Paulo Bruscky makes work that engages everyone, particularly those left out of the global arts dialogue,” said Sergio Bessa, Director of Curatorial and Education Programs at The Bronx Museum. “We have two important works by him in our permanent collection. Interestingly, in 1982, while living in New York on a Guggenheim Fellowship, Bruscky sent one of his Xerox books to our curators, who added it to our collection. I believe he sent us the piece because he saw the connections between our mission and his work, and three decades later, we’re excited to introduce him to our audiences.”