The screen print Flowers (F. & S. II.66), from Andy Warhol’s Flowers series (1970), shows the artist’s famous flower motif, rotated, rendered in this print with soft pink and oranges hues against a starkly contrasted grass background. With the Flowers series, Warhol exhibits his unrivalled skill in the screen print process by using the same photographic motif for each print and rendering it in a multitude of variations of colour and composition.
Taken from a photograph by Patricia Caulfield found in a 1964 issue of Modern Photography, Warhol deliberately appropriates and repeats the image excessively to mirror the mechanical forms of reproduction found in mass-media that he was so fascinated by. This idea of assembly-line production was reinforced by Warhol’s “Factory’ that opened in New York in 1964, where he produced many of his screen prints, noting: ‘Mechanical means are today and using them I can get more art to more people. Art should be for everyone.”
Flowers (F. & S.II.66) reworks the traditional art historical genre of flower painting, by appropriating an image from a magazine and reproducing it in a ‘machine-like’ manner, to challenge ideas of fine art, authorship and creativity. Warhol directly participates in appropriation and image dissemination. Consciously banal and synthetic. He rejects hierarchical compositions in favour of flattened perspective and abolishes complex colour harmonies for monochrome planes of flat colour and artificially bright ink.