Gucci's iconic Flora motif turns 50 next year and to celebrate the print, the Italian fashion house has chosen to hold a blossoming exhibition at its Gucci Museo in Florence. Titled 'The Language of Flowers', this latest offering explores the themes associated with flora in the form of four artist's works including sculpture, photography and conceptual art.
Botanical female faces, Middle Eastern street vendor necklaces and diptychs are not works of art that most would associate with the blooming floral print emblazoned on numerous Gucci collections over the years. But, it is with these deceptive pieces that curator Martin Bethenod aims to introduce the viewer to the various deeper themes flowers hold, such as vanity, politics and grief.
Pieces include Moroccan born artist, Latifa Echakhch's sculpture 'Fantome' (2012). Beyond the visual beauty of the jasmine flower necklaces, the artist uses flora to highlight a political metaphor. Linked to her memory of a travelling jasmine salesman covering his flowers with a shirt to protect their scent and freshness, she evokes the revolutions of the Arab Spring and resistance to chaos through this fragile installation.
Other must-see works include two diptychs by great American photographer Irving Penn. His historical artwork 'Cottage Tulip, Sorbet, New York' (1967) and 'Single Oriental Poppy' (1968) show the great attention paid to perfection through the complex technique, proving that maybe flowers aren't always so simple.