General Idea



General Idea was founded in 1967 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.

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.

One of their most iconic and confrontational works is Nazi Milk (1979), a paradigm of how General Idea unflinchingly explored taboo subjects with humor and a touch of absurdity. 

The Nazi Milk image appears in several works in General Idea’s oeuvre, featuring Billy, a young blond man with a white shirt depicted against an orange background. The idealized Aryan boy raises a large glass of milk to his lips. He already has a Hitler-like milk mustache. He looks suggestively at the viewer exuding several conflicting messages. Can consumer products seduce the masses and convince them to consume political ideologies? 

This work was conceived as a cocktail holder, the 'Nazi Milk Glass' is connected to the larger General Idea project, ‚ÄėThe 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion‚Äô. It was sold at The Boutique, a kiosk which promotes a series of cocktails‚ÄĒ each one a political metaphor. The idea of drinking a magical elixir reappears numerous times in their oeuvre during the early 1980's including "Test Tube"¬†and the shot glasses that make up "Magic Palette".

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Canada, 1980

Drinking glass with offset adhesive label in plastic container with gold hot-stamping

Signed in marker on bottom of packaging 

6"H 4"W (Case) 

5.9"H 3.6"W (Glass)  


Very good condition

Minor wear to plastic case

Additional images available by request.

Note: This work was intended to be an open edition. However according to "General Idea Editions 1967-1995" it was not realized and only approximately 50 were actually produced. This example is signed ‚ÄėGeneral Idea‚Äô on bottom of the packaging in marker. See page 139 for the complete listing.¬†

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