General Idea


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.

The group was both prolific and multi-disciplinary long before it became de rigueur. They worked across a wide range of media including photography, sculpture, painting, mail art, video, installations, multiples, and performance.   

In 1970, the Miss General Idea Pageant debuted, a conceptual parody that subverted traditional beauty contests through documented performances and related objects. Through various mediums and iterations, The Miss General Idea Pageant endured for nearly two decades. 

During this period, General Idea created artworks that supported the "Miss General Idea Pageant" and went so far as to envision a dedicated venue entitled the "Pavillion".

"The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion Foundation", a rare and early work, features a letterhead design for General Idea's fictional foundation. The letterhead is completed with a promising slogan that reads "A Blueprint for Tomorrow".

Contrary to its optimistic tone, the blueprint is curiously left blank, its unfilled grid permeating an air of mystery. It bares the question, was the sheet intentionally left blank, or is its vacancy a call for input?

There are two notable historical tidbits found in this work. General Idea founded Art Metropole, which remains an important venue for artist books and multiples, in 1974, and they are listed here with their original address. 

You'll also notice "Granada Gazelle" listed as one of the Directors. In the early years of General Idea, there were a number of other active members, it was only around the early to mid-70s when they coalesced to be a trio. 

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"The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion Foundation"

Canada, 1974

Offset on onionskin paper

8"W 10"H (work)

12.5"W 14.75"H (framed)

Unknown edition


Note: this work is now framed. Additional images coming soon. 

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