General Idea

b. 1967, Canada

General Idea was a collective of three Canadian artists, Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson, who were active from 1967 to 1994.

AA Bronson, born Michael Tims, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1946.
Felix Partz, born Ronald Gabe, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1945–1994.
Jorge Zontal, born Slobodan Saia-Levy, Parma, Italy, 1944–1994.

General Idea were formed in 1969 by friends AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal; for the next 25 years they lived and worked together to produce the living artwork of their being together, undertaking over 100 solo exhibitions, and countless group shows and temporary public art projects.

They were known for their magazine FILE (1972–1989), their unrelenting production of low-cost multiples, and their early involvement in punk, queer theory, AIDS activism, and other manifestations of the other. In 1974 they founded Art Metropole, Toronto, a distribution center and archive for artists’ books, audio, video, and multiples, which they conceived as the shop and archive for their Gesamtkunstwerk: The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion, a kind of meta-museum. From 1987 through 1994, they focused their work on the subject of AIDS. The group was de facto dissolved with the deaths of Pertz and Zontal in 1994 although General Idea’s work continues to be exhibited.


Maureen Paley: Studio M

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