Flowers and Mushrooms
Distributed for Hirmer Publishers
Flowers and Mushrooms takes readers inside the rich and diverse symbolism of its eponymous subjects. Flowers have at times stood for freshness and fertility, transience and death. In addition to its ubiquitous and much-maligned image as a hallucinogen, the mushroom has throughout history signified health and life and served as an important symbol within religious ritual. In recent years though, flowers and mushrooms have become a focus in contemporary art, with artists manipulating the many clichés that surround them and adapting their representation to produce new and unexpected layers of meaning, from social criticism to feminism and the conceptual framework of the erotic. Among the leading “plant portraitists” are the Swiss duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss, whose series of forty photographs epitomize the potential to shed new light on familiar objects by presenting them in unusual context. In addition to Fischli and Weiss, Flowers and Mushrooms includes photographs, paintings, and installations by Anna Atkins, Karl Blossfeldt, Imogen Cunningham, Nathalie Djurberg, Sylvie Fleury, David LaChapelle, Robert Mapplethorpe, Shirana Shahbazi, Luzia Simons, and Andy Warhol, among many others, as well as critical texts by leading art historians.