The Brazilian artist Paulo BRUSCKY has developed a unique, multidisciplinary practice in a career spanning over 40 years. Influenced by leaders of the avant-garde, including Marcel Duchamp and John Cage, Bruscky was a pioneer of Mail art in Brazil in the 1960s and was later associated with Fluxus in the 1970s. Highly experimental, innovative and controversial – his first mail art exhibition in 1976 was shut down by the police – Bruscky’s work reflects a simultaneous engagement with the local artistic framework of his hometown of Recife, Brazil and a wider global network. Combining visual and literary language, Bruscky vocalizes a humorous, though critical commentary of local and international culture and politics; a response to a lifetime of political repression experienced through living under Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964–1985, where he suffered imprisonment multiple times and was threatened to become ‘disappeared’. For years he worked at the Agamenon Magalhães Hospital in Recife where he utilised the basic resources available to him – printer paper, photocopiers, blueprint machines, envelopes and stamps – to continue making art whilst making a living.
Today, Bruscky remains a leader of contemporary art in Brazil. He was featured four times in the São Paulo Biennal (1981, 1989, 2004 and 2010) and in the 10th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2009). His works are included in the collections of MoMA; Guggenheim Museum; Tate Gallery; Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo; and the Stedelijk Museum, amongst others.