Andy Warhol: Kiku by Andy Warhol
"In 1974 Andy Warhol had a retrospective of his paintings at the Daimaru Department Store in Tokyo. This was the beginning of a long relationship with Japanese art galleries and dealers. Some time around 1982 or 1983 a Japanese art consultant named Atsuko introduced us to a gentleman from the Gendai Hanga Center, Tokyo. Though I have forgotten his name, I remember his face. It was a weathered face framed with a long wispy salt and pepper colored beard. With the exception of his clothes he could have been right out of a 19th Century Japanese print. He persuaded Andy to create prints for the Gendai Hanga Center. The man knew Andy liked flowers and he had made silkscreen paintings and prints of flowers in the past. Especially fresh in the Japanese gentleman's mind were the hand colored FLOWERS edition (1974) based on Japanese (ikebama) flower arrangements. The idea of creating prints of the chrysanthemum flower or Kiku, which is the royal flower of Japan, intrigued Andy.
Andy created about 43 unique collage variations of this flower. He created images of single, double, and groups of chrysanthemums. These collages are the subject of this exhibition. The collages are the original artwork from which a selection was made to create an edition of prints. The final decision was an edition of 300 portfolios with 3 prints in each portfolio. The man explained they had to be small prints because the Japanese people lived in small houses or apartments." - Vincent Fremont