MAI 36 GALERIE is delighted to present two new solo exhibitions in our gallery spaces at Raemistrasse 37 in Zurich:
Both exhibitions will be opened on Thursday, January 17, 6pm and will be running through March 2, 2019.
Please join us for the Vernissage. AA Bronson of General Idea will be present.
— GENERAL IDEA
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.
With their media-related conceptual art, General Idea took a satirical approach to the existing norms of the art world, media culture and consumerism. Their involvement from the early 1970s onwards in arenas such as punk, queer theory and AIDS activism brought them international acclaim. As key figures in the conceptual art scene of the time, they used a variety of media and platforms, creating a diverse oeuvre that included installations, performances, photography, works on canvas, videos and drawings as well as magazines, multiples, editions, postcards, posters, wallpapers and more. Performance played an important role in their work, including beauty contests, television talk-shows and trade fair pavilions. As pioneers of early conceptual and media-specific art, the group is widely recognized as a model for artist-initiated activities and continues to this day to influence younger generations of artists.
The works were last shown in the exhibition General Idea: Broken Time/Tiempo Partido at the Museo Jumex in Mexico City and the MALBA in Buenos Aires and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa is organizing a major retrospective for 2021. Their works are present in the collections of numerous renowned institutions worldwide, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Tate Gallery in London. Mai 36 Galerie has been showing General Idea since 1988.
— ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
Mapplethorpe’s classically inspired image of the human body was often adopted by commercial photography. He looked to the iconography of Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance, and developed his own distinctive photographic style of radically pared-down composition. Even the early polaroids he created after his Fine Art studies at the Pratt Institute foreshadow his later motifs – albeit in color and more directly. With the shift to classic black-and-white photography, Mapplethorpe refined his technique and compositional style, going into more detail, cropping more closely, and creating aesthetically staged images in black-and-white.
The exhibition at Mai 36 Galerie shows works from 1976 to 1988 and includes the themes of male / female / SM / flowers / still life. The selection shows Robert Mapplethorpe as an artist firmly anchored in his time, yet whose works remain topical to this day. His photographs challenge us, while at the same time presenting images of classical beauty. Mai 36 Galerie has been representing the work of Robert Mapplethorpe since 1988.
Currently, the Museo Madre in Naples is showing «Robert Mapplethorpe – Coreografia per una mostra» and on January 25 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York is opening „Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now“ a two-part, yearlong exhibition. A full-length feature film about Mapplethorpe’s life and work, addressing the parallels between his art and his sexuality, is due for release later in the year.