Nick Knight creates, arguably, some of the most beautiful images of flowers in contemporary art. Lush, exquisitely composed, delicately coloured, they rank with Robert Mapplethorpe’s phallic stamens and Irving Penn’s ethereally floating poppies as amongst the most exquisite committed to print. Or indeed to canvas – who’s to say a Penn or a Knight isn’t as good as a Dutch Master? But anyway.
Knight’s flowers, however, are different to those of his predecessors; they belong inherently to the digital age, a series of images Knight has been not promoting but actually creating through social media for the past six years. On June 24 he will open an ambitious show, featuring these, at Michael Hue-William’s Albion Barn, his first major still-life exhibition in the United Kingdom. Albion Barn is in the sleepy parish of Little Milton in Oxfordshire, an unlikely locale for a major gallery. Knight was attracted to them for the calibre of their other artists – past exhibitions have included the work of James Turrell, Richard Long and Joana Vasconcelos – and because the gallery has an adjacent rose garden. Which seemed perfect.