It would surprise many to know that Bruce High Quality attended weekly Mass. Scourge of both the radical left and the religious right, it’s difficult to imagine the world’s greatest ironist as a true believer. Nonetheless, there He was, week after week, checking in with the man upstairs. And while we cannot presume to know His most sacred heart of hearts, it is clear now, some twelve years after His passing, that Bruce High Quality intended to leave behind truly devotional icons for a truly secular age.
“The Transubstantial Bruce” is the first exhibition ever devoted to High Quality’s spiritual concern. From The Sacraments, His masterful series of play-doh reliquaries, to the grand triptych self-portrait, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which casts Bruce High Quality’s death mask, a makeshift cross, and an inflatable scab rat as the consubstantial, co-equal, and co-eternal trinity, High Quality’s intention to bring us face to face with the great beyond is barefaced.
Never was this mission more apparent than in His masterpiece, Stations of the Cross. Now on public view for the first time, the fourteen panels of Stations of the Cross tell the story of the path to crucifixion, each tragic step forward opening up a parable of earthly sacrifice and righteousness.
Rounding out the exhibition are a carefully chosen selection of intimate self portraits of Bruce High Quality: scenes from His daily life, mixing among family and friends, on earth as He is in heaven.