GENERAL IDEA "OUROBOROS" CHENILLE CREST, 1988
In 1967, General Idea was founded in Toronto by AA Bronson (b. 1946), Felix Partz (1945-1994), and Jorge Zontal (1944-1994). Over the course of 25 years, they made a significant contribution to postmodern and conceptual art in Canada and beyond.
General Idea was both prolific and multi-disciplinary long before it became de rigueur. Together, they worked across photography, sculpture, painting, mail art, video, installation, multiples, and performance. The group also made a significant number of unconventional editioned works and was inspired by the idea of the anti-art object.
Thematic continuity was a key element in General Idea's work. Early on they introduced talismans or logos that they would revisit and re-envision, including skulls, ziggurats, and poodles.
They were particularly interested in (European) crests used for centuries to represent a city, district, or even a creative or professional guild. General Idea both appropriated and reinterpreted existing crests (often by replacing a lion with a poodle) as well as creating crests that were entirely of their own imagination.
Between 1988 and 1989, General Idea created 8 chenille crests with some of their most iconic motifs. These crests recalled their traditional European antecedents and the aesthetics of high-school sports teams and varsity jackets.
"Ouroboros" features General Idea's most famous mascot, the poodle, who mimics the lion's pose often seen in traditional European iconography. Entangled in the twists and curls of its tail, the poodle appears to be consuming the tip of it, embodying the full 'ouroboros' or circle of life.
Completed in a menacing palette of black, forest green, and electric red, this design is a classic General Idea; subversive, zany, and mischievous.
While these crests were intended to be an unlimited edition, according to the General Idea Editions catalog raisonné, less than 100 were produced. In 2010 AA Bronson would reissue these crests, however, the quality was far inferior to the originals and the colors used were significantly reduced. Serious collectors pursue the original crests, offered here.
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Chenille, embroidery on crest-shaped felt
From an unrealized edition, less than 100 produced
9"H 8.25"W (crest)
12.25"H 11.5"W (framed)
Framed with museum glass
Very good condition.
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