Once a rare and exotic flower, the orchid has become one of the world’s most ubiquitous indoor plants. From corporate offices to domestic interiors, from upscale florists to Home Depot, this tropical plant can now be seen anywhere -and acquired by anybody. It’s a striking and decorative flower without any dominant symbolism, except perhaps a hint of luxury left over from the 19th century when orchids were seen as “the chosen ornaments of royalty.”
For eminent German artist Isa Genzken (b. 1948, Bad Oldesloe), the mass-produced white orchid has become the quintessential flower of our age: global, accessible, and open to interpretation. Rising to 28 and 34 feet respectively, the paired stems of Genzken’s towering sculpture wind elegantly skyward, capturing light and casting shadows in a play of rhyming forms. Two Orchids heralds the entrance to Central Park in voluptuous full flower, its pristine white petals free from any blemishes. It stands as an idealized, colossal version of the familiar plant: a civic monument to the perfect orchid, now the chosen ornament of contemporary culture. Via Public Art Fund
Two Orchids, 2015
Cast aluminum and stainless steel, lacquer
Height appr. 1000 cm
Credit line: Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin/New York and David Zwirner, New York/London
Photo: Walla Walla Foundry, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY
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