Group exhibition Flower Power

12.05 - 17.06.23

The idea of ​​a more humane and peaceful world was given the buzzword Flower Power. Especially today, this philosophy of life is more relevant than ever, where our progressive age increasingly estranges us from a life close to nature. Referring to the movement of the 1960s, the exhibition wants to raise the question: what is our relationship to nature today?


The idiom "to say something through the flower" means not only to paraphrase something, but also to allude to something indirectly. This group exhibition should also be an indication of the regenerating power of our natural environment. Of all the emotions that nature can give us, the flower is a steadfast ambassador of beauty and diversity, celebrating its attractiveness over and over.

In the history of mankind, the flower has been a constant companion. She finds her thematic Parkour in all cultures and world religions. We encounter the flower in economic and ecological topics, it is omnipresent in design and fashion, but these wonderful organisms are also gloriously described in literature, visual art, and music. The symbolic power of the flower has always fascinated us. Humans associate flowers with a long and intensive history; from the mythology of classical cultures to the present day, it always finds expression. But plants also accompany mankind as medicine, food and finally as intoxicants. Folk medicine was particularly important in the Middle Ages. "Medicinal plants" and "health" were considered an inseparable unit.

In the western world, the 1960s were all about flowers. The flower power movement, which overthrew social norms and questioned gender roles, made the flower a symbol of their peaceful protest. Women and men wore floral shirts and bell-bottoms alike.

The most diverse flowers have prevailed as a symbol for non-violent resistance; the carnation revolution in Portugal, the jasmine during the Arab Spring and now, most recently, the sunflower represents the resistance in Ukraine. As a means of political expression, however, the flower reached its peak with the flower power movement. Because of this, these young people are also known as flower children. The closeness to nature and consumer criticism of this hippie movement could inspire us to new ideas about life and morality. Her catchphrase "Love and Peace" preserves universal infinity.

The colour and shape of each botanical species speak a secret language, a true code of communication of love and passions. Flowers tell an emotion and always have symbolic meanings. More than ever, nature itself appears to us as a symbol of life and death, of strength, energy, and courage, of loss and disappearance. Plants and their blossoms are companions in a constantly changing society. In earlier centuries, flowers were coveted status symbols, today they are traded globally as a mass product. The flower is currently coming into focus as a component that is as fragile as it is indispensable in the global ecosystem. The beauty and gentleness of flowers are wonderful qualities that on the one hand remind us of the magnificence of creation, but on the other hand point to the vulnerability of nature.

The world of flowers has always been a diverse source of inspiration in art history. The early signs can be found in prehistoric art and in the floral decorations of classical cultures. From the Christian era, floral attributes were first added to the theological programs, each following an iconographic value. Flowers and plants added a multi-level reading of the subject matter to the artworks.

Still life’s in devotional images increased their mystical quality and were associated with important associations. The carnation, for example, was considered a symbol of incarnation and the iris as vanitas. Many plants had a precise meaning, with occult, metaphysical symbolism, always imprinted with a deep religious structure hidden behind the "veil" of phenomena. These images often emphasize the virtues of man and the transience of all being.

The theme of flowers ranges from innocence to faith, love, passion, the exotic and luxury, transience and beauty and embarks on a sophisticated visual journey through art history.

As early as the Middle Ages, the flower vase appeared in numerous scenes of the Annunciation. This then very popular theme of the flower vase began to acquire an autonomous character. What is striking in these early flower paintings is the obsessive preoccupation with the characteristics and uniqueness of the plant, which sometimes even led to excessive reproduction. In the further development, it is the Flemish flower still life’s that increasingly follow a decorative conception. The image types corresponded to decorative needs that remained the same well into the extended 18th century. One noticeable development was the internationalization of the repertoire. Pictorial forms from all over Europe were adopted and led to a technically brilliant genre of representation. Whether as the blue flower of Romanticism or as a floral intoxication in Art Nouveau, illusionism is always associated with the representative form of "naturalism".

Just as the flower power period of the 1960s was characterized by strong optimism and young people swore by the belief that the world should become better, more beautiful, fairer, friendlier, and cleaner, we too can benefit from the sense of beauty of these unique and exclusive scientists inspire to counter a promising worldview with perspectives.

Artists: Elisa Alberti, Harald Plattner, Alfons Walde, Valeria Stuflesser, Egon Digon, Leonora Prugger, Stefan Gross, Andrea M. Varesco, Gregor Prugger and Fabrizio Senoner

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