Flowers

Create your first list.

A way to share and manage lots.

Cancel
  • Condition Report

    Request Condition Report
  • Provenance

    Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
    Locksley Shea Gallery, Minneapolis
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Philadelphia, Institute of Contemporary Art, Andy Warhol, 8 October - 21 November, 1965

  • Literature

    Georg Frei and Neil Printz, eds., The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: Paintings and Sculptures 1964-1969, vol. 2B, New York, 2004, no. 1558, p. 77 (illustrated, p. 73; dated 1965)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Against a verdant green ground, a grid of four exuberant red floral forms emerges, each delicately delineated by traces of a monochrome photographic image. As a preeminent example from one of Andy Warhol’s most iconic series of paintings, Flowers represents a formative moment in the history of Pop Art. Succinctly conjuring the artist’s most important themes of mortality and beauty, Warhol calls upon the historic genre of still life painting, adding the symbolic weight of the flower to his pantheon of mass produced products, celebrities and macabre images sourced from the daily news. Whilst the Flowers series would also signify Warhol’s adoption of mass-production techniques within his recently acquired ‘factory’, the present work is rare within the wider corpus. Of all 14 inch Flowers paintings listed in the artist's catalogue raisonné, there are only five works (including the present) which utilise this uniquely vibrant combination of contrasting red and green paint. Furthermore, the present work is one of only two 14 inch Flowers that are signed with a dedication. Warhol assigned this work to prolific collectors Miles and Shirley Fiterman, in whose collection it has remained since they acquired it shortly after it was painted in 1964. Flowers thus represents the dawning of a long-standing relationship of patronage between the couple and Warhol, and attests to the unparalleled historic importance of their collection as well as their role as collectors.

    Conceived and executed within a seminal year, the Flowers paintings are regarded as the pinnacle of Warhol’s painterly output in the early sixties; a period in which he revolutionised the history of representation through his adoption of the silkscreen technique. In 1964 Warhol was beginning to turn away from painting, as signalled by his last exhibition with Eleanor Ward of the Stable Gallery, where he presented three-dimensional reproductions of commercial shipping cartons. However, for his first show with renowned art world impresario Leo Castelli and ahead of his temporary break from the painted medium, Warhol debuted one of his most iconic series – Flowers. Presenting a radical switch from the images of American consumerism that he championed in his early oeuvre, the show was an instant success, leading to subsequent Flowers paintings being produced for a show at Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris, as well as a second consignment to Castelli. It was from this batch of 14 inch Flowers paintings that the present work originates. As a close associate of Castelli, the preeminent Minneapolis gallerist Gordon Locksley not only facilitated the acquisition of the present work by Miles and Shirley Fiterman, but also introduced the couple to Warhol around this time. The rare personal dedication on the back of the present work speaks of a flourishing friendship between the prominent collectors and the rising art star.

    In the iconic composition, the aerial viewpoint of Warhol’s source photograph, and the way he cropped it to his perfect square format, succinctly dispenses with a sense of depth. As noted by art historian Nina Zimmer "Warhol reduced and radicalised his Flowers to such an extent that the banal subject matter was now transformed into a powerful pictorial concept. The directionless format contributed to this: the pictures can be read in all directions; like an abstract painting, top and bottom, left and right, have been revoked.”(Nina Zimmer, Exh. Cat., Basel, Kunstmuseum, Andy Warhol: The Early Sixties – Paintings and Drawings 1961-1964, Ostfildern 2011, p. 177) Diverging significantly from the original source image – a colour photograph of seven hibiscus blossoms that was printed in Modern Photography to illustrate Kodak colour processing – Warhol abstracts the photographic clarity of the image to focusing instead on the luscious hand-painted base forms. As his assistant Billy Linich would recount: “He didn’t want it to look like a photo at all. He just wanted the shape, the basic outline, of the flowers” (Billy Linich quoted in Tony Sherman and David Dalton, Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol, New York 2009, p. 247). In the present work, Warhol selects two colours at opposite ends of the colour wheel, utilising their inherent sensational contrast to create an arresting sense of ocular disturbance. Despite both colours being found in nature the image is decidedly synthetic. Crucially Warhol purposefully allows for the slight misalignment of the colourful underpainting and the overriding image, leading to a profoundly holograph quality at the points where the red and green meet, un-curtailed by the silkscreen print.

    Whilst the flowers appear eternally exuberant, their evident status as a manufactured image also illuminates the transience of the beauty expressed by nature. Flowers represent a profound visual shift from Warhol’s Death and Disaster images: here he offers a more subtle memento mori, recalling the vanitas tradition that he would return to once again in his skull paintings of 1976. Painted in the same year as Warhol debuted his provocative mural 13 Most Wanted Men at the New York World’s Fair, the renowned French author Jean Genet eloquently noted how Warhol was a master of expressing contrasts, whilst finding cohesion in his choice of subjects: “There is a close relationship between flowers and convicts. The fragility and delicacy of the former are of the same nature as the brutal insensitivity of the latter” (Jean Genet quoted in, Eykyn Maclean, Andy Warhol Flowers, New York, 2012, p. 6). Between the partial pathos of the verdant green foliage and the unbridled passion of the red petals, it is in Flowers that Warhol artfully probes the unassailable paradoxes of life at a meeting point between concepts of beauty, transience and a fearful obsession with our own mortality.

  • Catalogue Essay

    在一片碧綠的草地上,四個鮮麗炫目的紅色花朵在方形畫布上浮現,每個都藉由單色攝影圖像的痕跡精心勾勒。安迪·沃荷(Andy Warhol)最具代表性的系列作品之一;《花》成為波普藝術史上的一個決定性之關鍵時刻,為藝術家的傑出範例。在描繪了「死亡」與「美」這兩大沃荷作品中最重要的主題之後不久,沃荷回到藝術史上靜物繪畫這一主題,將花的象徵意義歸列到他創作中使用的大量生產、名人以及來自新聞事件的悚人圖像等主題之中的一支。雖然《花》的系列也意味著沃荷在他當時開創不久的「工廠」中對大量生產技術的採用,這件作品在他的整個系列中卻是罕見的一幅。在藝術家的畫冊全集中所收錄的所有14英寸《花》的繪畫中,只有5件(包括這件作品)將對比鮮明的紅色和綠色進行了如此獨特生動的組合。此外,這件作品是所有14英寸的《花》之中僅有的簽署了為誰而作的2件作品之一。沃荷的這件作品是為收藏家邁爾斯及雪莉‧菲特曼夫婦而作,他們於1964年在作品完成不久後,即將其購入珍藏,此畫一直保留在他們的收藏中。《花》因此代表了這對夫婦與沃荷之間長期的藝術贊助人與藝術家的關係,並證明了他們的收藏所具有的;無與倫比的歷史重要性以及他們作為收藏家的角色。

    經歷了一整年的構思與創作,《花》被認為是沃荷在六十年代初的繪畫作品的巔峰之作;這是一個他通過對絲網印刷技術的使用對「再現」的歷史進行了革命性的改變之時期。1964年,沃荷開始遠離繪畫,由艾蕾諾.沃德(Eleanor Ward)在史提波畫廊(Stable Gallery)為他舉辦的前一個展覽正象徵著這一轉變,展覽中沃荷展出了一批商業運輸紙箱的立體複製品。然而,在他與著名的藝術經紀人李歐·卡斯特里(Leo Castelli)合作的第一個展覽中,也是在他短暫脫離繪畫媒介之前,沃荷首次推出了他最具代表性的系列之一: 《花》。徹底從他早期作品中所大量使用的美國消費主義的圖像中轉移,這個展覽立即獲得了成功,並因此隨後為巴黎的伊利安娜·索拿本德畫廊(Galerie Ileana Sonnabend)的展覽,以及第二次與卡斯特里的合作而創作了其他《花》系列作品。這件拍品正是來自那一批14英寸的《花》的繪畫。作為卡斯特里的親密合作夥伴,明尼阿波利斯著名的畫廊主Gordon Locksley不僅促成了邁爾斯及雪莉‧菲特曼夫婦對這件作品的藏購,更是在那個時期將這對夫婦介紹給沃荷。在這件作品背後罕見的個性化簽名正說明了這對著名的收藏家和當時冉冉升起的藝術明星之間深厚的友誼。

    沃荷所使用的原照片中鳥瞰視角的標誌性構圖,以及他完美切割的方形,簡潔地去除了景深。正如藝術史學家尼娜·齊默(Nina Zimmer)所說:「沃荷將他的花簡化和改變到如此程度,以至於讓這個平凡的主題如今轉變成一個強大的圖像概念。隱去方向性的格式促成了這一點:圖像可以從任一方向去觀看;就像一幅抽象繪畫一樣,上下、左右,這些規則都不再成立。」(尼娜·齊默,展覽目錄,巴塞爾,巴塞爾美術館,《安迪·沃荷:1960年代早期繪畫1961-1964》,Ostfildern 2011年, 第177頁)大尺度地從原始圖像-一張來自《現代攝影》(Modern Photography)用來展示柯達的色彩處理的;七朵盛開的木槿花之彩色照片,從中分離開來,沃荷將原本著眼於攝影清晰度的圖像轉化成為以鮮麗的手繪為基礎的形式。正如他的助手Billy Linich後來回憶的:「他根本不希望它看起來像一張照片。他只是想要花朵的形狀,和基本輪廓」(Billy Linich,引自Tony Sherman與David Dalton,《波普:安迪·沃荷的天才》,紐約,2009年,第247頁)。在這件作品中,沃荷選擇了色環兩端的兩種顏色,利用它們固有的感官上之對比來創造一種引人注目的視覺干擾。儘管這兩種顏色都屬於自然色,但最終的成像卻明顯表現著人造感。至關重要的是,沃荷有意地讓層疊的底色與主導的圖像形成輕微的錯位,讓紅色與綠色相交處產生強烈之全息圖的質感,讓畫面不受絲網印刷的限制。

    雖然花朵看起來永遠也不會凋零,但它們作為被製造出來的圖像,明顯也指示著大自然所蘊含的美是稍縱即逝的。《花》代表了沃荷從「死亡」和「災難」主題的圖像上之巨大視覺轉變:在這裏他用更為微妙的方式在講述「一切終將逝去」,指向他後來在1976年創作的骷髏頭主題繪畫中所詮釋的虛空派的傳統。與沃荷首次在紐約世界博覽會上亮相並引起爭議的壁畫《13個頭號通緝犯》創作於同一年,著名的法國作家雄辯地指出沃荷是一位創造對比的大師,同時也在他選擇的主題上找到一致性:「鮮花與罪犯之間有著密切的聯繫。前者的脆弱和精緻與後者的殘酷不仁有著相同的性質」(讓•熱內,引自艾肯•麥克萊恩,《安迪·沃荷的花》,紐約,2012年,第6頁)。在翠綠的枝葉之某種悲催與紅色花瓣奔放的激情之間,沃荷在《花》這件作品中巧妙地探究生命中無懈可擊的悖論;對美的概念、生命中的稍縱即逝,以及我們對自身生命的有限的極度迷戀之間的交匯點。

  • Artist Bio

    Andy Warhol

    American • 1928 - 1987

    Andy Warhol was the leading exponent of the Pop Art movement in the U.S. in the 1960s. Following an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol achieved fame with his revolutionary series of silkscreened prints and paintings of familiar objects, such as Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrity and advertising, Warhol created his slick, seemingly mass-produced images of everyday subject matter from his famed Factory studio in New York City. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, notably the commercial technique of silk screening, wholly revolutionized art-making.

    Working as an artist, but also director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to managing the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure in the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was notably also a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

     

    View More Works

Select Language

English

中文

Ο7

Property from the Miles and Shirley Fiterman Collection

Flowers

1964
signed, dedicated and dated 'Andy Warhol 64 To Mr. and Mrs. Fiterman ♡' on the overlap
silkscreen ink on linen
35.6 x 35.6 cm. (14 x 14 in.)
Executed in 1964.

Estimate
HK$6,500,000 - 8,500,000 
€737,000-963,000
$833,000-1,090,000

Place Advance Bid

Contact Specialist
Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019