Flowers (F. & S. II.71)

Flowers (F. & S. II.71)
Signed Print

Andy Warhol

Screenprint, 1970
Signed Print Edition of 250
H 91cm x W 91cm

Critical Review

The Flowers (F. & S. II.71) print is somewhat menacing in character, despite the light-heartedness of the subject matter. Due to Warhol’s manipulation of colour, the hibiscus flowers display a garish quality and the background of undergrowth is flattened into two contrasting tones of blue and dark red. Produced in the years following Warhol’s Death and Disaster paintingsThirteen Most Wanted Men portraits and the portraits of Jackie Kennedy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Flowers series is unexpected in its subject matter. Warhol is said to have used the flowers motif as a symbol of purity and fragility amidst widespread violence, his psychedelic colour palette strongly linked to the rise of the Flower Power movement of the 1960s.

In his choice of bright colours and simplified form, Warhol creates an aesthetically pleasing print, however the Flowers series references subversive and subliminal themes surrounding the existence of death in life. Warhol used flowers as symbols of nature’s ephemerality and the fleeting impermanence of beauty. Death was a frequent theme in Warhol’s life and work, as such, alongside images of Jackie Kennedy, Marylin Monroe, skulls, electric chairs and car crashes, these brightly coloured flowers became the perfect abstract tool to capture the brevity of life on canvas.