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General Idea

The Canadian group General Idea was founded in Toronto in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal and operated as an internationally active artist collective until the mid-90s. Both Partz and Zontal died in 1994 of AIDS-related causes.

General Idea took a critical approach to the institutional structures of the art world, media culture and consumerism. Their involvement from the early 1970s onwards in arenas such as media theory, queer theory and AIDS activism brought them international acclaim. Their performance and media work occupied the forms of the beauty pageant, television talk shows and trade-fair pavilions. Over the course of their career, in their artistic identities as architects, archaeologists and later, with the advent of the AIDS crisis, activists, they produced a diverse oeuvre of installations, photography, prints, works on canvas, and drawings as well as magazines, multiples, editions, postcards, posters, wallpapers and more.

General Idea were pioneers of early conceptual and media-specific art, and key figures in the early conceptual art scene. The group is widely recognized as a model for artist-initiated activities and continues to this day to influence younger generations of artists.

  • General Idea, Great AIDS (Phthalo Turquoise Green), 2018

    acrylic on canvas in four pieces
    118.11 x 118.11 in (300 x 300 cm)

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  • General Idea, Great AIDS (Dioxazine Violet light), 2018

    acrylic on canvas
    59.06 x 59.06 in (150 x 150 cm)

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  • General Idea, Great AIDS (Cadmium Green Medium), 2018

    acrylic on linen
    59.06 x 59.06 in (150 x 150 cm)

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  • General Idea, Great AIDS (Cadmium Orange Light), 2018

    acrylic on canvas
    118.11 x 118.11 in (300 x 300 cm)

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  • General Idea, Coeurs Volants, 2000

    silkscreen on paper
    20.08 x 20.08 in (51 x 51 cm)
    EUR 5 700

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  • General Idea, Achrome #10, 1996

    Plaster, gauze, gesso on Fibreglas
    5.12 x 12.6 in (13 x 32 cm)

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  • General Idea, Fin de Siècle, 1994

    digital inkjet print on vinyl-coated canvas
    88.58 x 59.06 in (225 x 150 cm)

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  • General Idea, Infe©ted Mondrian #11, 1994

    acrylic on Gator board
    49.61 x 49.61 in (126 x 126 cm)

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  • General Idea, AIDS Ring, 1993

    sterling silver ring in black velvet-covered jewelry box, title card (photocopy on vellum), in white card box
    2.76 x 2.36 in (7 x 6 cm)

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  • General Idea, Untitled (AIDS with Cockroaches #2), 1993

    gouache on offset on paper
    34.65 x 34.65 in (88 x 88 cm)

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  • General Idea, The Singing Nun, 1989

    ink, gouache on paper
    14.17 x 10.63 in (36 x 27 cm)

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  • General Idea, Copyright (Collector), 1986

    Bleach on denim
    14.96 x 14.96 in (38 x 38 cm)

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