GENERAL IDEA, “A POODLE CREATES A PORTRAIT”, 1981
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.
The poodle is one of the defining icons in General Idea’s oeuvre, signifying a multitude of meanings. Like many works in their oeuvre the poodle is both cute and subversive. While General Idea had used the poodle motif since the early 1970’s, in this iteration it becomes graphic, stylized, and vaguely robotic.
GI's dedication to creating multiples was tied to their critical exploration of 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.”
This image would also appear on the cover of Parachute, a contemporary art magazine, published for their winter 1981 issue. Throughout the 1980's General Idea would depict stylized poodles in an array of prints and multiples.
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"A Poodle Creates a Portrait of General Idea as Three Pee Holes in the Snow"
Signed, numbered and dated by the artist.
Offset and gold hot-stamping on paper
12.25"H 12.25"W (work)
From an edition of 81
Published by Parachute, Montreal
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