GENERAL IDEA “COEUR VOLANT” SCREENPRINT, 2000
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 four decades, 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.
Perhaps their most iconic series is their appropriation of Robert Indiana’s “LOVE”. General Idea subverted his iconic work to read "AIDS" using the same font and bold color arrangement of red/green/blue as the original.
This distinguishable trio of colors became a mainstay in General Idea’s AIDS-related works, creating a logo that would signify the power and ubiquity of the disease.
“Coeur Volant” is an outstanding example of General Idea’s use of appropriation from this era, "infecting" the original work by Marcel Duchamp of the same namesake. Here, General Idea replaces Duchamp's blue and red palette with their now-ubiquitous red/green/blue, another iconic work falling victim to contagion.
Ignorant of the reference to Duchamp, the arrangement of four “fluttering” hearts is remarkably pleasing, almost decorative. Like many of GI's best works, on the surface, the work can seem playful and reverential, when in fact it is conveying something far more sinister or cynical.
Conversely one could argue that the appropriated hearts represent something more optimistic, that the repetition of the shapes is signifying love, empathy, brotherhood, or unity.
In 1994, two of the members, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal died of AIDS. 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.
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Signed AA Bronson, titled, numbered, and dated 2000 by the artist
From an edition of 30
18”H 18”W (work)
20.5"H 20.5"W (framed)
Framed with plexiglass
Very good condition
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