The 'Infinite Flowers' exhibition series has been a recurring tradition of PLUS-ONE Gallery in Antwerp since 2017. The exhibition series explores the ongoing appeal of flowers to artists. The gallery collaborates both with the artists of the gallery as well as with other galleries and artists. Combined with a playful and long-pile green floor covering that is reminiscent of a lawn, this fourth edition shows work by no fewer than 29 artists. To emphasise that same playfulness, works are occasionally replaced, so that each visit offers a slightly different experience.
Flowers have been used in artistic imaginations for centuries, not only because of their beauty and stimulating form, but also as a means of representing a feeling or to tell stories without words. Flowers can represent a multitude of emotions, agreed connotations and feelings: from love, eroticism and desire to purity, innocence or even death. For example, wilted flowers refer to the fragility of life and the rapid transition from life to death. In Renaissance paintings, flowers often disguise a deep philosophical and Christian symbolism, while the ancient Egyptians used lotus flowers as a representation of the sun. Art history has seen flowers in various art movements and movements — from surrealism to pop art — and artists like Georgia O'Keeffe, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet became famous for their unique interpretations. Van Gogh even appropriated a specific flower.
József Csató, Bird call II, 2021, PLUS-ONE Gallery.
But how do contemporary artists respond to this age-old tradition? In 'Infinite Flowers' you get an idea of the breadth of interpretations. For example, Nicholas William Johnson immersed himself into plant consciousness for his dark paintings, studying anything from ancient mythologies and shamanic knowledge to contemporary academic studies. The work of the Hungarian painter József Csató betrays his interest in our toxic relationship with nature and he reduces that same nature to its most essential features in his work, in paintings that move between figuration and abstraction. The South African artist Kendell Geers combines flowers with a recurring and emotionally charged symbol from his oeuvre: barbed wire. Michael Johansson, the Swedish artist known for his minimalist 'building kits', shows a work that makes you, as a viewer, wonder how it relates to flowers: are we looking at garden tools here? Perhaps it is almost a shame to learn the answer. In this exhibition, you will be surprised by the diverse forms of expression: from paintings and neon works to a sign by the Dutch artist who made flowers an essential part of her visual language: Lily Van der Stokker.
Nicholas William Johnson, Gate, 2022, PLUS-ONE Gallery.
The exhibition in PLUS-ONE Gallery shows work by the artists Werner Mannaers, József Csató, Manor Grunewald, Nicholas William Johnson, Sven ‘t Jolle, Sergio De Beukelaer, Laurens Legiers, Xavier Noiret Thomé, Mevalana Lipp, Lysandre Begijn, Rik De Boe, Nelleke Cloosterman, Sean Crossley, Kendell Geers, Daan Gielis, Milan Kunc, Sam Druant, Juliane Noll, Victor Verhelst, Beni Bischof, Bernd Lohaus, Carole Vanderlinden, Celina Vleugels, Ralf Kokke, Amber Andrews, Lily Van der Stokker, Heidi Ukonnen, Tony Matelli and Michael Johansson.
Infinite Flowers, Part 4, PLUS-ONE Gallery.