Background of Andy Warhol’s Flowers (Hand-Colored) Series, 1974
From 1964 through 1970, Warhol dedicated his attention towards still-life. In particular, he focused on flowers. His iconic four-flower motif of the hibiscus remains one of the most well recognized images during this time. However, in 1974 he returned to depicting floral arrangements as still-life. The source imagery for this subsequent series is derived from retro wallpaper samples and the book Interpretive Flower Designs by Mrs. Raymond Rus Stoltz. Two series resulted from these sources, one in black and white and another with hand-coloring. Both series showcase the same imagery and were commissioned by Castelli Graphics.
The Imagery and Color of the Flowers Series
Flowers (Hand-Colored), 1974, is a series of ten screenprints. At initial glance, this Flowers series is decidedly a more personal and careful approach that shows Warhol’s diverse abilities as an artist. The carefully drawn lines show an illustrative style that is reminiscent of David Hockney and Alex Katz. For the hand-colored series, a studio assistant applied Dr. Martin’s aniline watercolor dyes to each print. For this series, Warhol abandons his photographic prints and instead focuses on lines and composition.