General Idea’s A A Bronson Receives French knighthood

AA Bronson Conceptual Artist and last surviving member of the collective General Idea has been awarded the highest honour in France for his contribution to visual art. On the eve of the opening of the first-ever retrospective of GI’s work in Europe, Bronson is named a chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des arts et lettres by France. The honour is an Order of France, established in 1957 by the Minister of Culture in France and confirmed as part of L’ordre National du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. The French government confers several distinctions, among which the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres is conferred on persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of the arts in France and throughout the world. Bronson, 65, is to be honoured on 24 February by French culture minister Frédéric Mitterand in Paris. The next day marks the start of Haute culture: General Idea 1969-1994, an exhibition at the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris. It will travel to Toronto’s Art Gallery on Ontario in July. AA Bronson was one of the three artists of General Idea from 1969 through 1994, and since then has worked independently, both alone and in collaboration. He has had solo exhibitions worldwide and is in collections of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum, New York, and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. He has presented his most recent collaborative project, Invocation of the Queer Spirits , in New Orleans, Winnipeg, and New York. Bronson is the executive director of Printed Matter, Inc. and the NY Art Book Fair, and the artistic director of the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. He has edited and written many books, notably his memoir Negative Thoughts (2001), published by the MCA Chicago. His many awards include the Governor General’s Visual Art & Media Award (2002), and the Skowhegan Award (2006). He has taught at UCLA, the University of Toronto, and Yale University, and was awarded The Banff Centre for the Arts National Award in 1993, an honorary D.F.A. from NSCAD University in 2007, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Concordia University in 2009.

Haute Culture: General Idea, organised by the Museum of Modern Art in Paris runs from 11/02/2011 to 30/04/2011 avenue du Président-Wilson 75016 Paris