A media preview on Thursday morning at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens offered a sneak peek at the Warhol: Flowers in the Factory show, opening there Feb. 11 to run through June 30.
The exhibit, which highlights Warhol’s connection to nature (perhaps unexpected for many fans of the Pop art icon, who know him from soup cans and celebrities), carries on the theme of living art that has also been a focus of previous shows at the gardens, including one devoted to Marc Chagall. This one (curated by Carol Ockman) first takes viewers into the Conservatory, where the horticultural team has assembled a huge wall/grid of bromeliads echoing Warhol’s frequent repetition of imagery. (You can actually take time to sit and enjoy that and other plant exhibits on a white couch in a sunken living room replica nearby.)
On the grounds of the gardens, the Selby staff has also assembled a collection of epiphytic plants adorning a white frame backed by colored squares, while another frame, surrounded by large-scale hibiscus flowers created to complement Warhol’s own hibiscus images, bears the Warhol quote, “Land really is the best art.”
And inside the Museum of Botany and the Arts reside not only four colorful Warhol silkscreens of flowers, dating from the late 1960s and early 1970s (courtesy of Williams College Museum of Art), but poinsettia images and little-seen photographs of Warhol outdoors (albeit in a jacket and tie), on skis and even rowing a boat.
In addition, throughout the run of the show the “Food Factory,” in front of the Payne Mansion on the property, will serve items such as “Andy’s Pastrami on Rye” and a “Warhol Grilled Cheese,” along with salads, grain bowls and more.
Another quote from Warhol: “I always notice flowers.” You will, too, if you take in the Selby Gardens show. For more information visit selby.org.