GENERAL IDEA, “ARTIST'S CONCEPTION; MISS GENERAL IDEA", 1971
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 issues including consumerism, media consumption, the cult of the artist, and AIDS.
General Idea were both prolific and multi-disciplinary (long before it became de rigueur) creating works in photography, sculpture, painting, mail art, video, installation, multiples, and performance.
In 1970, General Idea introduced the inaugural Miss General Idea Pageant during the intermission of a play hosted by the Festival of Underground Theatre in Toronto.
This conceptual parody served as a conduit to explore some of General Idea's interests in gender, iconography, and popular culture. The concept was realized in various mediums and iterations over a period of nearly 20 years.
This early and iconic screenprint features a found image of Glenn Lewis aka "Flakey". The image was later reproduced in the retroactive 1971 Miss General Idea Pageant Entry Kit, which contained a selection of ephemera relating to the contestants.
It can't be emphasized enough how transgressive and unfamiliar an image such as this was in the early 1970's. Today we are accustomed to images of fetish, leather, gender fluidity etc. in our culture...but 50 years ago this was incredibly provocative.
This is a fantastic example of General Idea's work and a striking memento from their early years. It can be found in the permanent collection of numerous museum's including the MoMA and The National Gallery of Canada.
Questions about this artwork? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720
"Artist's Conception; Miss General Idea Pageant 1971"
Screenprint on wove paper
Signed and numbered by artist
From an edition of 10
40"H 26"W (work)
42.5"H 28.25"W (framed)
Mild toning but overall very good condition.
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