Encaustic on panel
47 1/4 x 63 x 3 1/2 in (120 x 160 x 9 cm)
Image courtesy of the artist and Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich
Mitchell Anderson (b. 1985, Chicago) lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland. Anderson’s practice incorporates readymade objects or imagery relating to American culture. Flowers is part of a series that directly appropriates the rubber stamp floral motifs from Christopher Wool’s 1990s silkscreened paintings, which in turn reference Andy Warhol’s 1960s silkscreened flowers painting series. Anderson’s Flowers series is realized in encaustic, a particularly labor-intensive process of heating resin and beeswax with natural red pigments, and art historically associated with 20th century artists such as Jasper Johns.
With these works I’m thinking about the ways that a certain type of artist appropriated natural imagery in a cold way. Like Chris Wool. It’s one of the unresearched and weird art historical moments when gay Pop art is made cool by straight artists in the 90s at the same time that gay artists took Minimalism. I wanted to get back to the original appropriated flower and give it some sensuality and the sex appeal inherent in the form of a flower. I like the wax for its abilities of embedding the image into the surface. It’s one material, one block of wax and it shows every moment of my touch. The material is so bodily and atmospheric and depending on the lighting and the work can be a bruise, a fire, or erotic flesh. Red is a color that infinite contradictory meanings are placed on. Love. Hate. Luck. Revolution. Judd thought it was the color that showed angles best. I want a lot of possibilities of reading in the work. Ands. Red allows a lot of ands.
– Mitchell Anderson, 2021
Galerie Maria Bernheim, London
“Flower Paintings,” Galerie Maria Bernheim, London, 12 October – 20 November 2021
Mitchell Anderson at Galerie Maria Bernheim
Andy Warhol, Flowers (1964) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Andy Warhol, Flowers (Black and White) Portfolio (1974) in the Whitney Museum of American Art
“Christopher Wool,” Luhring Augustine, New York, 29 April – 22 June, 1995
Christopher Wool in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago
Roberta Smith, “Painting’s Endgame, Rendered Graphically,” The New York Times, October 24, 2013