Casterline|Goodman Gallery is proud to present Flower Power, showing selections from Donald Baechler, Louise Bourgeois, Alex Katz, Jeff Koons, Marc Quinn, Donald Sultan, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann. The show will run from June 21 to July 31, 2013.
The study and fascination with flowers and plants is a global phenomenon. Floral patterns have been used since ancient times, as medicine books in medieval times, in still lifes during the Renaissance, and to decorate yards, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and textiles today. Casterline|Goodman presents a collection of artists that have been famed for their floral series and their unique approach to the matured subject matter.
Andy Warhol is famous for a number of series, but his Flowers series had an immediate impact on his viewers. Warhol had just completed his Death and Disaster series and with the advise of Henry Geldzahler, the curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, took a radically different route by photographing hibiscus flowers. Inspired by his photographs, Warhol created his Flower series from 1964-1965, during the height of his popularity. The bright colors and pure, fragile subject matter had a cheerful effect, which was a necessary contrast to his previous collection of car crashes and suicides. He flattened the flower and the background by blocking them in color and added a cropped square composition with a frontal viewpoint. As Warhol had done with past pop art series, he used silkscreening to mass-produce the bright colored images and then hung them, which created a rhythmic effect across the wall.
Donald Baechler, a contemporary artist known for his child-like paintings and sculptures, was also inspired from photographs. He collected them over his lifetime; yet, out of a couple hundred photos, he only uses one or two. Baechler says, "It's necessary to accumulate all of these things to get to the point of what's important." Like Warhol's Flowers, Baechler's bright flower compositions have had a cheerful, calming affect on his audience. Steven Vincent in Art in America wrote on Baechler by stating, "Like Art Brut, Donald Baechler's seemingly ingenuous depictions of everyday objects and simple figures succeed in large part by tapping into our Nostalgia for childhood, that period of life before the riveting onset of self-consciousness and guilt." Casterline|Goodman is showing Baechler's Yellow Rose, Rose, and Rose with Spoons, which display a large central flower with a collaged background inspired from his photographs.
Alex Katz is a painter known for his portraiture, but began painting from nature while he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Every year following, Katz would travel from his loft in SoHo to his 19th century farmhouse in Maine to work. Katz was inspired by the freedom and spontaneity of nature as well as Jackson Pollock's use of space, which lead him to paint a series of all-over tree paintings. After his retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1986, he gave his full attention to the environmental flower and landscape paintings. Casterline|Goodman has put together an impressive collection of his flowers and landscapes over the past decade featuring Katz's Tan Woods, Tiger Lily, Red Roses, Lily 1, and Pink Petunia #2.