Flowers and Mushrooms

Edited by Toni Stooss

Flowers and Mushrooms

Edited by Toni Stooss

Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

256 pages | 130 color plates, 41 halftones | 9 1/4 x 11
Cloth $49.95 ISBN: 9783777421544 Published February 2014 For sale in North America and Japan only
Robert Mapplethorpe’s Calla Lily. Andy Warhol’s familiar pop-art panels filled with poppies. David LaChapelle’s overblown baroque bouquets that upend the conventions of still-life composition. We’re accustomed to flowers and mushrooms as seemingly trite decorative motifs, but they have also long been explored as complex subjects by some of the most radical and inventive contemporary artists.
Flowers and Mushrooms takes readers inside the rich and diverse symbolism of its eponymous subjects. Flowers have at times stood for freshness and fertility, transience and death. In addition to its ubiquitous and much-maligned image as a hallucinogen, the mushroom has throughout history signified health and life and served as an important symbol within religious ritual. In recent years though, flowers and mushrooms have become a focus in contemporary art, with artists manipulating the many clichés that surround them and adapting their representation to produce new and unexpected layers of meaning, from social criticism to feminism and the conceptual framework of the erotic. Among the leading “plant portraitists” are the Swiss duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss, whose series of forty photographs epitomize the potential to shed new light on familiar objects by presenting them in unusual context. In addition to Fischli and Weiss, Flowers and Mushrooms includes photographs, paintings, and installations by Anna Atkins, Karl Blossfeldt, Imogen Cunningham, Nathalie Djurberg, Sylvie Fleury, David LaChapelle, Robert Mapplethorpe, Shirana Shahbazi, Luzia Simons, and Andy Warhol, among many others, as well as critical texts by leading art historians.

Flowers and Mushrooms

Toni Stooss


Field of Experimentation and Inspiration.

Two Centuries of Still Lifes and Studies of Nature

Mila Moschik


Leopold Trattinnick

William Henry Fox Talbot

Anna Atkins

Alois Auer von Welsbach


Reinhold Brendel

Martin Gerlach

Charles Harry Jones

Robert von Stockert

Karl Blossfeldt

Paul Dobe

Albert Renger-Patzsch

Lou Bonin-Tchimoukoff

Paul Wolff

Imogen Cunningham

August Sander 


Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

Matthias Harder


Andrew Zuckerman

Carsten Höller

Hans-Peter Feldmann

Seiichi Furuya

Manfred Willmann

Luzia Simons

Giovanni Castell

Christopher Beane

Balthasar Burkhard

Ernst Haas

Diana Thater


Nature versus Artificiality. Domesticated Nature

Veit Ziegelmaier


Andy Warhol

Pipilotti Rist

Gitte Schäfer

Thomas Stimm

Nam June Paik

Peter Fischli/David Weiss

Zeger Reyers and Lee Ranaldo

Katharina Malli

Georgia Creimer

Stefan Waibel

Sylvie Fleury

Dieter Huber


Botany, Eroticism and Sexuality. Notes on Symbols,

Analogies and Projections in Contemporary Art

Peter Weiermair


Robert Mapplethorpe

Nobuyoshi Araki

Rolf Koppel

Xiao Hui Wang

Chen Lingyang

Michael Wesely

Shirana Shahbazi



Les Fleurs du Mal. On Realities and Appearances

Tina Teufel


David LaChapelle

Marc Quinn

Judith Huemer

Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg

Eliška Bartek

Paloma Navares

Elfriede Mejchar

Vera Lutter


A Fool for Mushrooms. An Essay

A Story in Itself

Peter Handke



List of Exhibited Works of Art


Picture Credits


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