White AIDS #3,

General Idea, Canadian, 1969-1994
Gesso on canvas
152.4 x 152.4 cm (60 x 60 in.)
Acquired 2010

General Idea was formed in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal.

AA Bronson, born Michael Tims, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (born 1946).

Felix Partz, born Ronald Gabe, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1945-1994.

Jorge Zontal, born Slobodan Saia-Levy, Parma, Italy, 1944-1994.

The group was dissolved with the deaths of Partz and Zontal in 1994.

For 25 years, General Idea forged a single, mythologized identity, presenting self-conscious parodies of the art world and consumer culture. In 1987, in response to an invitation to create work for the Art against AIDS benefit, the group appropriated the colors and design of Robert Indiana’s widely quoted LOVE (1965), reconfiguring the image to read AIDS. Producing wallpaper, stamps, public sculpture, posters, and bill-boards, General Idea spread its AIDS logo throughout art institutions and transportation systems in the United States and Europe. The letters in White AIDS #3 are obscured by layers of white gesso, a haunting, somber reflection on the epidemic that would take the lives of two of the three members of the group.