Their origins as a species are a bit shrouded in mystery, but most who study flowers and evolution agree that they came about in order to employ insects and animals in their reproduction (a process that surely continues with our artful interventions).
They lure with beauty, eventually tricking humans into agriculture and the dream of making such fecund and lively yearnings permanent, into art.
Despite the eminent Octoberist’s antipathy (and he is hardly alone in his disdain), flowers in art are back in bloom.
Flagrantly frivolous, wholly ephemeral, though ancient in art, the floral’s recent return as a major subject for artists marks a pivot toward those things that flowers represent: the decorative, the minor, the ephemeral and emotional, the liveliness of their bloom and the perfume of their decay, a sophisticated language of purest color and form that can be both raw nature and refined arrangement, poetic symbolism rubbing against the political mechanisms of value, history, and trade.
Alpine flowers can often be quite small but this doesn’t make them any less appealing and almost always worth the effort it takes to reach them.
We may also be treated to some of the equally spectacular insects which visit them daily in search of nectar.First and foremost, flowers are the sex organs of plants.Those bright colors and elaborate bodies were meant to turn us on.Macho minimalists preferred stacks of bricks and sheets of steel to prove the heft of their seriousness.Besides, the florals look too comfortably bourgeois for the shock and spectacle of self-serious avant-gardists, though Giacomo Balla’s Though flowers have appeared in art for thousands of years, first evidenced in funerary motifs in the earliest Egyptian dynasties, they’ve been used mostly as a sideshow, a decorative motif, a signifying prop.Even the most macho man secretly enjoys coming across an attractive urban garden or carpet of wild flowers in an alpine meadow.A hand-picked arrangement of flowers has probably also managed to get many men (and women) off the hook when they’ve transgressed in some way.Flowers are fragrant with subtle meanings, each different for every artist who chooses them as a subject.They are a move away from literal explications, self-righteous cynicism—and toward what, precisely? Free in the wilderness, rowed in gardens, in bouquets on tables, or as a decorative aromatic around the dead, flowers offer an opportunity for a simple, sensual pleasure—both a temporary escape and a corporeal return.A wreath is a typical arrangement and is almost symbolic of bereavement.They are ceremoniously handed over at remembrance parades.