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.

At the onset of the AIDS crisis in the early 1980s, the illness and the apathy/ignorance toward it became a dominant motif culminating in this work (and its multitude of incarnations).

This iconic print is perhaps their most recognizable artwork. Appropriating Robert Indiana‚Äôs ‚ÄúLOVE‚ÄĚ, General Idea¬†subverted¬†his iconic¬†work to read "AIDS"¬†while¬†using the same font and bold color arrangement of red/green/blue as the original.¬†

This subversive design appeared in a number of different iterations beginning in 1987. This print is one of the earliest versions. Created as a screenprint in an edition of 1000, it was intended as one of General Ideas first forays into street art or public art. Hundreds of examples from the edition were wheat-pasted on the streets of New York City (in November 1987) and San Francisco (in January 1988)

The San Francisco action coincided with General Idea's exhibition at Artspace which opened on January 12, 1988. This example of the print comes from the private collection of the gallery's founder Anne MacDonald. 

This version is distinct from the offset lithograph from 1988 (used on the streets in Toronto and Berlin) as it is of significantly better quality being a screenprint as well as having the General Idea printed signature and copyright date printed vertically in the lower left corner as well as being approximately 5" larger. 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720.

Visit our Toronto gallery on Thursdays or by appointment.


USA, 1987

Screenprint on paper

Edition of 1000, unnumbered

Printed signature, copyright and date

27"H 27"W 

Sold unframed

Overall very good condition. Minor handling marks. 


"General Idea: Editions 1967-1995", Fischer, pg. 172-173 (2003)

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