Henry Geldzahler takes credit for suggesting the influential Death and Disaster Series, and later, as an anodyne, the Flower prints of 1964. Geldzahler reportedly told Warhol that he had done enough death pictures and that it was perhaps time for "life," showing him some flowers in a magazine. Warhol followed the advice, directing his assistant to have silkscreens made of a photograph of four poppies by Patricia Caulfield which appeared in Modern Photograph.
In 1967, critic Paul Bergin wrote:
Warhol's flower paintings express the twentieth-century machine in different terms, deliberately calling upon the viewer to make a comparison between Warhol's flowers and "real" flowers.... Flat and unrealistic, they bring to mind both the plastic artificial flowers so common in our society and the floral print designs stamped into fabric, especially that of awnings.... They are flower images stripped of their flowerness, the reduction of the flowers which gape at us from awnings, wallpaper and contemporary centerpieces. Silk- screened onto the canvas, Warhol's flowers reside there in all their machine-made glory, a valid presentation of the twentieth-century flower....
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