This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 250
H 91cm x W 91cm
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Toni Clayton, American Pop & Modern Specialist
Flowers (F. & S. II.68) is a print from Andy Warhol’s Flowers series (1970), a set of 10 screen prints each showing four synthetically coloured hibiscus flowers against a background of grass and undergrowth. Warhol returned to this subject matter throughout his career, first appearing in his 1964 solo exhibition, entitled Flower Paintings, at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. Both in its aesthetic character and moral import, the Flowers series is distinctly abstract when compared to Warhol’s more narrative works depicting celebrity, capitalism, death and disaster.
Reminiscent of Claude Monet’s famous Waterlilies, Warhol does not look to nature for his Flowers series but instead takes inspiration from a 1964 issue of Modern Photography, manipulating a photograph of hibiscus flowers by Patricia Caulfield. Flowers (F. & S. II.68) is an innovative example of appropriation art in Warhol’s extreme alteration of the image and challenge to notions of fine art, originality and authorship. Warhol creates an abstract image by using the screen print technique to flatten colour and form and dramatically heighten the contrast of the original image. Each flower is formed by splashes of florescent pink and yellow, floating over a two-toned pattern of electric green, thus mocking the gestural marks of the Abstract Expressionists.
Warhol’s synthetic colour palette emphasises the man-made quality of the print, reinforced by the mechanical process of screen printing Warhol used to produce the series. By reducing nature to a kitsch saleable commodity that can be mass-produced, Warhol highlights the falsehood of magazine images and questions what constitutes high art.