General Idea

GENERAL IDEA "AIDS" SILKSCREEN, 2021

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.   

With their subversive approach and interest in parody and appropriation, General Idea addressed a broad range of social (and art-world) issues such as the cult of the artist, mass media, queer identity, and consumerism.

Thematic continuity was a key element for General Idea, who utilized longevity as an avenue to delve deeper into, build upon, and evolve with the complex and nuanced subject matter they took on.

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¬†distinctive imagery.¬†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.¬†

Two of the members, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, died of AIDS in 1994. General Idea's surviving member, AA Bronson, continues to practice as an independent artist and oversees the representation, exhibition, and reedition of General Idea’s work internationally.  

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720. Visit our Toronto gallery on Thursdays or by appointment.

"AIDS"

Canada, 2021

Silkscreen print on Somerset paper

Signed and dated by the artist

From an edition of 300

8"W 11"H (work)

11.25"W 14"H (framed)

Excellent condition. 


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