Werner Mannaers’ oeuvre has been developing since the 1980s and can be read as a highly personal pictorial investigation. Rokoko Flowers is a presentation of a recent series of works depicting 97 compositions with flowers. These lovely flower scenes tell a lot more then what they show at first glance. Mannaers peppers his gouaches with a range of art historical references, which he subsequently links to philosophical quotes or elements from popular culture. Through this ‘sampling’ technique, a multi-layered context is created that allows the artist to soften the often existential subject matter with irony and self-mockery. Many years ago Mannaers, who is extremely well-read, started to cut op his library. Every night he looks for words and phrases that appeal to him leaving his books with heaps of holes. The artist’s free use of these arthistorical and literary shreds inuitively resultes in a delicate layered effect. An amalgam of references from his persoal life is added to the mix. His improvised working method leaves scope for playful associations of motifs, signs and language. Mannaers does not disguise the trial and error involved in the creative process. On the contrary, it is an essential part of his aesthetic. The flower paitings are ‘hopelessly humoristic’ and effortlessly interweave existential questions with an elegant lightness.