Collection: General Idea

General Idea was formed in 1969 by AA Bronson (b:1946), Felix Partz (1945-94) and Jorge Zontal (1944-94). Together, they created iconic works about sex, race, history, the collective, and illness, often presented through the lens of pop culture and mass media. From 1987 they began to create artworks in response to the AIDS epidemic, producing several ground-breaking installations until Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal’s deaths from AIDS-related illnesses in 1994.

General Idea’s work inhabited many forms and often embraced the multiple, including prints, posters, and pins. They founded Art Metropole in Toronto in 1974 and published FILE Magazine from 1972-1989. Their influence on conceptual art continues to reverberate today, and their work is represented in many major international collections. A General Idea retrospective was held at the National Gallery of Canada in June 2022.

In 1985, around the same time as their exhibition The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion at the AGO, General Idea were invited to be Guest Artists at Open Studio. They produced four prints in the studio at this time, including Self Immersion, and Mondo Cane, which feature their quintessential poodle motifs. In 2000-01, AA Bronson returned to Open Studio, producing two prints that call back to the work of General Idea: Coeur Volant, and Mondo Kane Karma Sutra. Bronson was invited to create his Red Hankie screenprints as part of a publishing project at Open Studio in 2004.

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