General Idea


General Idea was formed in 1967 in Toronto and over the next nearly 30 years, the trio made a remarkable contribution to post-modern art.  

With their subversive approach and interest in parody and appropriation, General Idea addressed a broad range of social and art-world issues including consumerism, media consumption, the cult of the artist, and AIDS.

General Idea was both prolific and multi-disciplinary (way before it became de rigueur) creating works in a wide range of media including photography, sculpture, painting, mail art, video, performances, installations, and (perhaps most notably) artist multiples.

‘Middelburg Tile’ was created in 1985 to coincide with the General Idea installation "Khroma Key Klub: the Blue Ruins from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion" and created for the exhibition "Remnants of the Miss General Idea Pavillion" in De Vleeshal, Middelburg, 1985. 

The boxed work contains General Idea's version of the Dutch Province of Zeeland’s shield, handpainted on a ceramic tile. What was once a lion fighting through crashing waves has been replaced with a curious poodle/mermaid hybrid. The poodle is a recurring symbol in General Idea’s practice that is both cute and subversive.

The box also contains an offset catalog, (22 pp) plus cover, and blue-and-white reproductions.

GI's dedication to creating multiples was tied to their critical interest in consumerism and art collecting/shopping. AA Bronson explained, “General Idea was at once complicit in and critical of the mechanisms and strategies that join art and commerce, a sort of mole in the art world.”

Questions about this artwork? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"Middelburg Tile"

Canada, 1985

Hand-painted ceramic tile and offset catalog, 22 pp.

From an edition of 200

7"H 7"W (tile)

8.25"H 8.25"W (box)

Published by De Vleeshal, Middelburg

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