General Idea [Gropius Bau]
Challenging both the art world and the world at large, General Idea (1969–1994) remain some of the most influential artists to have emerged from Canada. Together, Felix Partz (1945–1994), Jorge Zontal (1944–1994) and AA Bronson (b. 1946) invented a groundbreaking practice that spanned twenty-five years.
Witty and eccentric, General Idea made artworks that critiqued the art world, including the museum itself. Their work not only resonated in their own time, but has continued to inspire today’s artists, activists, cultural commentators and social-media influencers. Addressing various aspects of mass media, consumer culture, social inequalities, queer identity, the art economy and the AIDS crisis, often through satire, they pushed boundaries, profoundly altering the course of postwar art.
In the most comprehensive retrospective on the trio ever produced, this touring exhibition brings together more than 200 works exploring General Idea’s career, from their early days emerging from late 1960s counterculture to the acclaimed IMAGEVIRUS series that permeated the media landscape in the late 1980s, culminating in the deeply moving works of their final years.
Presenting major installations as well as publications, videos, drawings, paintings, sculptures and archival material, General Idea tells the story of a group whose brilliant output laid the foundation for future generations of creators, informing new ways of reimagining and changing our world through art.
This exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Canada in collaboration with the Gropius Bau.
Curated by Adam Welch, National Gallery of Canada and Beatrix Ruf in collaboration with Zippora Elders, for the Gropius Bau.
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
April 1 – July 16, 2023