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Shoe Journal: by George Saia, a General Idea production

General Idea and George Saia
Art Metropole
Artists' Books
10.9 × 15.6 × 1 cm

George Saia, one third of General Idea, and better known as Jorge Zontal, was a compulsive doodler. He employed a curvilinear style compounded with obsessive repetition and elaboration. The Shoe Journal explores the shape of the stilleto shoe, later to become a General Idea motif.

As Robert Fones writes in his introduction: “At last, in its bound form, Shoe Journal can be read as it was intended: as a consecutive series of drawings and images constituting a journal of the first six months of 1971. The text is not a chronology of events but a chronology of experience. The first found illustration triggered a frenzy of drawing as Jorge Zontal searched for the ideal graphic form of the shoe motif, and then repeated the icon page after page with minor variations…”

Shoe Journal was originally printed in 1971 by The Coach House Press, Toronto, as one of their “Snore Comix” series, edited by Michael Tims (later AA Bronson, also of General Idea), but was never bound or released. The loose signatures (originally about 200, of which 120 remain), hung around General Idea’s studios for decades. More recently, artist Robert Fones proposed to complete the project as an Art Metropole publication. Under his direction, Shoe Journal has been hand bound in a letterpress foil-stamped simulated leather cover by Reg Beatty.

Rubber-stamp signed, numbered, edition of 100, plus 18 APs and 1 PP (one unbound set of signatures remains in the General Idea Archive.) Contains insert by Robert Fones, “Reading Shoe Journal,” 2007 (photocopy on paper: folded, 15.1 × 10.3 cm; unfolded, 15.1 × 41.2cm.)

  1. Shoe Journal: by George Saia, a General Idea production

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