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’s “LOVE”, 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.
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)
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