Gotta hand it to the Bruce High Quality Foundation: they know how to pump up an art show. A month ago, the anonymous art collective released the first trailer for what was being billed as 'The Last Brucennial' and it was a one-minute super cut of scenes from classic (mostly '90s) natural disaster movies (think: Twister, Deep Impact) while Gary Glitter's eternal jock jam, "Rock & Roll, Pt. 2," played in the background. Started in 2008, the Brucennial began, in the group's own words, "in direct opposition to other high-profile biennials that seek to advance the commercialization of art" and instead as "a celebration of and catalyst for, an ever-widening community of artists." Democratic in both its inclusion of unknown artists in the show as well as the inclusion of the public in the opening party, the Brucennial steadily became such a buzzy event during the New York art calendar that a headline in Gallerist proclaimed that the 2012 show was "Harder to Get Into Than the Whitney Biennial." And soon it's going to be all over.

"What will happen next is there will be other shows but they'll happen through the Bruce school", art scion, dealer, and co-producer of the Brucennial, Vito Schnabel, says of the decision to make this the final Brucennial. "It will be a part of the Bruce University and not a Brucennial. The curation will be different and much more affiliated with the school. There are 700 students enrolled in the school for the semester and 50% are artists so the pieces will probably include a lot of students' work." But as for the final Brucennial, Schnabel and the BHQF are making sure to go out with a bang. Electing to curate an all-female show, Schnabel and the Bruces invited 150 big-time female artists like Tracey Emin, Josephine Meckseper, Marina Abramovic and Cecily Brown to each recommend another female artist whose work they thought should be included. "It snowballed, which is the nature of the beast of the Brucennial," Schnabel explains, and the result is a show featuring over 600 different artists ranging from superstars like Abramovic, Emin, Laurie Anderson and Louise Bourgeois to countless unknowns. (Which, in this case, also includes a big piece by Lucy Liu, who was in attendance at last night's opening.) "I don't think there's anybody that sent [art] that we said couldn't be in it," Schnabel says. "[The show] starts and takes on a life of its own and that's part of the beauty of it."

Paper's Rebecca Smeyne was on-hand at last night's opening party, where, in keeping with the democratic vibes, lines to get in stretched down the block and PBRs were served from trash cans. Take a look at photos from the scene (a few NSFW), below.

The Last Brucennial will run from March 7 to April 4 at 837 Washington St., New York

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