Andy Warhol, ‘Flowers (FS 11.67)’, 1970, Revolver Gallery

Almost six years after his sellout show at the Leo Castelli Gallery where he introduced the world to his Flowers series, Warhol released a portfolio of ten screenprints simply entitled “Flowers.” The portfolio takes the photograph by Patricia Caulfield he had used previously, and he crops, abstracts and inverts the image. The only difference between the prints is the colors used. In this print, there are two orange flowers, a yellow flower, and a purple flower on green grass. The hibiscus flowers are very unique for Warhol because they are delicate and represent fragility and purity. They are a huge change from his Disaster series, which he was working on prior to this. Even though these are a very different subject matter than we are used to seeing from Warhol, they are one of his most popular series, especially because of the bright, pop colors.

Signature: Edition of 250 signed in ball-point pen and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso; some dated. There are 26 AP signed and lettered A – Z in ball-point pen on verso.

It was very common for Warhol to source material from advertisements, newspapers and magazines. He found the photograph for this in a June 1964 issue of Popular Photography. What makes this subject matter unique is that it is different from his usual commercial or mass media imagery. What is very characteristic of Warhol is the vibrant and bright color combinations used throughout the portfolio. Flowers were the only subjects that Warhol continuously revisited throughout his entire career, exploring them in a variety of mediums. After seeing the first Flower paintings, Caulfield actually sued Warhol over usage of her image. Warhol tried to offer her two full portfolios in exchange, but a cash settlement was arranged instead. Because of this, Warhol began to take more photos himself and use them because he was afraid of getting sued again.

About Andy Warhol

Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.

American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, based in New York, NY, United States