In 1982, Tacoma almost had its very own Warhol painting…and it was going to be supersized on the Tacoma Dome. This November, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Warhol’s proposal for Tacoma, the artist’s flowers and vision for the Dome are coming to Tacoma Art Museum in Andy Warhol’s Flowers for Tacoma from Nov. 3, to Feb. 10.
Best known for his vibrant pop imagery and searing commentary on art and popular culture, Warhol’s flower imagery reveals a softer, more intimate side of the artist. These works capture Warhol’s explorations of fragility, vibrancy, femininity, sensuality, and beauty. The exhibition celebrates more than 100 works by Warhol, including early illustrations from the 1950s, photographs, paintings, photographs, and works related to the creation of his iconic Flowers.
“Tacoma Art Museum is proud to bring this extensive body of Warhol’s work to the Puget Sound,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “The exhibition offers insights into Warhol’s career that are rarely seen in the Northwest.”
Flowers for Tacoma exemplifies the nature of pop art, where something commonplace – like a flower – is transformed into art. Exhibition highlights include Warhol’s audacious floral proposal for the Tacoma Dome consisting of a brightly colored flower that would have covered the Dome, as well as paintings, studio photographs, and almost a dozen screen prints from his vibrant Flower series, which is based on a photograph of hibiscus flowers by Patricia Caulfield. The exhibition traces Warhol’s ongoing interest in floral imagery from the early 1950s through 1986.
“This exhibition offers visitors a rare opportunity to explore in-depth a little-known component of Warhol’s career and to re-imagine the city of Tacoma through his vision.” said Rock Hushka, Director of Curatorial Administration at Tacoma Art Museum. “The exhibition will show how one of the most influential American artists engaged with Tacoma.”
Flowers for Tacoma will further cultivate art and culture by raising awareness about Warhol’s proposal and the growing interest in realizing his vision. Advocates of the project, known as Citizens to Install Andy Warhol's Flower on Tacoma Dome, are trying to raise awareness about the significance of Warhol’s proposition and the opportunity it provides for Tacoma.