• Selby Gardens to Explore Warhol’s Conservationist Leanings in Colorful, Immersive Exhibition Opening February 2018

    Flowers, c.1967, color silkscreen on paper, 36 1/16 x 36 in. (91.6 x 91.5 cm) Credit: © 2017 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA: Gift of Tennyson and Fern Schad, Class of 1952 (84.17.1) Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)

    Flowers in the Factory will turn Selby Gardens into a floral playground and feature original artwork by the artist, illuminating his passion for the natural world

    SARASOTA, Fla., APRIL 25, 2017 – Andy Warhol, well-known as a groundbreaking Pop Artist and innovator, maintained a surprising interest in exploring and celebrating nature and often depicted landscapes and plants in his work.  

    Beginning in February 2018, an exhibition of Warhol’s “Flowers” silkscreen series will be on display at Selby Gardens, providing a matchless context for examining Warhol’s fascination with nature. Visitors encountering “Warhol: Flowers in the Factory” will view works by Warhol while enjoying dynamic horticultural interpretations of his art, capturing his energy in a tropical setting and encouraging a mutually enriched experience of art and the natural world. The floral playground and focused art exhibition will be on display Feb. 11 through June 2018.

    To highlight the artist’s natural sensibilities, four iconic Warhol silkscreens of hibiscus will be on view as the second iteration of the Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which explores the connections between nature and fine arts. The works, on loan from Williams College Museum of Art, are from the original series of 10 flower silkscreens produced in the mid-1960s. Additionally, two Warhol poinsettia prints, originally created by the artist in 1983 as holiday gifts for friends, will be on loan from Sarasota art patron Flora Major for this inspired exhibition.

    Living displays throughout the grounds and in the glass house conservatory will emphasize the repetition, modular designs and juxtaposition of Warhol’s work.

    “Nature is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Warhol, but nature did indeed influence this artist,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “From his youth visiting botanical gardens in Pittsburgh to his conservation efforts in the Hamptons, Andy Warhol – like so many of us – was affected by the natural world. Our hope is for those who visit to be inspired by the importance the natural world plays in all our lives and to dig a little more beneath the surface to understand this artist.”

    The series offers a direct connection to one of the original purposes of the Christy Payne Mansion, which houses the Museum of Botany & the Arts at Selby Gardens. Founded in 1979, the museum displays major fine arts exhibitions and relates them to nature and the botanical collections in the gardens. Warhol: Flowers in the Factory follows the first exhibition in the series, Marc Chagall, Flowers and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams, which is currently on view and concludes July 31, 2017. Dr. Carol Ockman, Curator at Large for Selby Gardens and the Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History at Williams College, returns to curate the 2018 exhibition.

    “Like the Campbell Soup cans and the portraits of superstars, the Flowers take a popular source, simplify it, then enlarge, print, and repeat it mechanically,” Ockman said. “Equally fascinating is to think of the Flowers, and nature more broadly, as a regenerative tonic to the modern world at large.”  

    Andy Warhol remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture, an entrepreneur and innovator who considered almost anything as art and leveraged his fame into a worldwide brand. Now, 30 years after his death, his works are highly valued. His infatuation with celebrity, signature style, celebration and critique of American culture and obsessive documentation of his everyday life contribute to the enduring Warhol legacy, making him one of the most paradigm-shifting artists of our time.

    Warhol: Flowers in the Factory receives major support from Amicus Foundation, Betsy and Doug Elder and the State of Florida’s Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Additional major supporters include: Gerri Aaron, Better-Gro, BMO Private Bank, Margot and Warren Coville, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Ernest R. Kretzmer, Flora Major, Katherine and Frank Martucci and Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen. Supporting sponsors include Beverly and Bob Bartner, Linnie E. Dalbeck Memorial Foundation, Dart Foundation, Teri A Hansen, Marcy and Michael Klein and Charlotte and Charles Perret.  

    Accompanying cultural performances that celebrate the spirit of Warhol are planned throughout the exhibition. This includes partnerships with Perlman Music Program/Suncoast, Asolo Repertory Theatre, the Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Opera and the Sarasota Orchestra. Family-themed events will also be held monthly, along with after-hours evening celebrations, lectures and classes in painting, photography and horticultural display. A full schedule of events will be provided in late 2017 at www.selby.org.

    Since opening to the public in 1975, Selby Gardens has been internationally recognized for its focus as the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display of epiphytes.

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    About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

    Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, epiphytes and tropical plants with a focus on botany, horticulture and environmental education. For more information, please visit www.selby.org. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas. Regular admission is $20 and $10 children ages 4-17; members and children 3 and under enter free. Contact us at (941) 366-5731 or selby.org. Get social with us on Facebook, Instagram and more by searching @selbygardens.

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