The General Idea artists group was founded in 1969 by Bronson, Jorge Zontal and Felix Partz. The three worked and lived together for 25 years, until their collaboration was terminated with the death of both Zontal and Partz in 1994. General Idea exhibited internationally in private galleries and museums in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, as well as undertaking countless temporary public art projects around the world.
AA Bronson has been working independently since that time.
Partz tended toward the iconoclastic. While still at the University of Manitoba School of Fine Arts in Winnipeg he made photocopies of famous artworks for his print-making class. At the time of his death he had just finished work on a series of AIDS-related General Idea projects that incorporated mutated simulations of works by Mondrian and Duchamp.
He died on June 5, 1994 of AIDS-related causes.
Canadian musician Peaches recorded a song entitled "Felix Partz" on her album The Teaches of Peaches.
Slobodan Saia-Levy (born 1944 in Parma, Italy - February 3, 1994), publicly known as Jorge Zontal, was a Canadian artist and cofounder of the artistic collective General Idea with Felix Partz and AA Bronson.
Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson at the drafting board ponder the construction of the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion., photo: Rodney Werden, courtesy General Idea
Zontal was born in Parma, Italy, in 1944, the son of Yugoslav refugees. He grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and in 1968 he earned a degree in architecture at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he also studied film making and acting. Soon after graduation, he met AA Bronson and Felix Partz while working on a film in Toronto and their group, General Idea, soon became an active part of the Canadian and then the international art scene.
Zontal died on February 3, 1994 of AIDS-related causes.
General Idea: A Retrospective 1969-1994 by AA Bronson, Frédéric Bonnet, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: JRP|Ringier (May 31, 2011)
Amazon: General Idea: A Retrospective 1969-1994
General Idea was founded in Toronto in 1969 by Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson as a generic identity to free the artists "from the tyranny of individual genius." Under the leadership of their fictitious muse Miss General Idea, and inspired by William Burroughs' conception of the "image virus," the collective interrogated media image culture through now legendary projects like File magazine, as well as paintings, installations, sculptures, mail art, photographs, videos, ephemera, TV programs and even a beauty pageant. General Idea came to an end in 1994, when Partz and Zontal died of AIDS. Today General Idea can be seen to anticipate the later art collectives of the 1970s as well as aspects of Relational Aesthetics in the 1990s. This volume presents an overview of the Canadian collective's bold mingling of reality and fiction and their frequently transgressive, parodic incursions upon both art and society. It traces such prevalent themes of their oeuvre as the mystique of the artist and the creative process, glamour as a creative tool, art's relationship to media and mass culture, architecture and archaeology, sexuality and AIDS. Including newly commissioned essays and reprinted texts, this volume is richly illustrated with documents and reproductions of the most significant projects realized by General Idea between 1969 and 1994.
More Artists at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art
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