AA Bronson is the surviving member of the legendary Canadian conceptual art collective General Idea, a 25-year collaboration in art and life with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal which ended when they both died of AIDS in 1994. General Idea was a unique, influential practitioner of a type of high-camp conceptualism in which performance strategies, punk-rock aesthetics, drag queen bravado, intellectual rigor, and political resistance were blended into an irresistible mélange. Bronson, with Partz and Zontal, is among the first internationally recognized contemporary artists to produce artwork in a group structure. General Idea's later collaborative works, produced in response to AIDS, are among the masterworks in the literature of this plague. His partners influence on Bronson during their lifetimes, as well as the legacy of their deaths, figure prominently in the artist's current work.Read More
Weaving together concepts derived from such seemingly disparate sources as Tibetan Buddhism and Post-Modernism, Bronson uses the particulars of his own biography — professional and personal — to address the universal issues of humanity. Utilizing language taken from the Holocaust and our knowledge of post-traumatic stress disorder, Bronson’s works transport us from the specific traumas of his personal loss, to the global tragedy of AIDS, to a beginning understanding of the transient and illusory nature of life and love. Employing dream narratives and conveying a Buddhist understanding of perceived reality as an illusion, Bronson’s new photographs and objects transform crippling tragedy into spiritual growth.
AA Bronson was awarded the Bell Award in Video Art (2001). Other awards include The Gershon Iskowitz Prize (1988), The Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Toronto (1993), the Banff Centre for the Arts National Award (1993), and the Jean A. Chalmers Award for Visual Arts (1994). Bronson's work has been shown in numerous places such as Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and The Balcony, Toronto, and he is one of the participants in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. General Idea exhibited in private galleries and major museums in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia, and undertook countless temporary public art projects around the world.