Four exhibitions putting nature in the frame

A crop of shows is reawakening a sense of wonder for flowers, fruit, fungi and forests, says Beatrice Hodgkin

Celebrated fashion photographer Nick Knight has turned his lens on roses for an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, opening on March 28
Celebrated fashion photographer Nick Knight has turned his lens on roses for an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, opening on March 28 | Image: Nick Knight. Courtesy of the artist and Albion Barn

Nick Knight: Roses from my Garden

The celebrated fashion photographer, founder of ShowStudio and video director for musicians such as Björk, Kanye West and Lady Gaga turns the lens on roses for an exhibition opening on March 28. iPhone floral photographs, shot in natural light, are uploaded and blown up, with the spaces between pixels colour-matched and augmented by AI software. The results, on display at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, renowned for its rose garden, are part 16th-century Dutch still life, part tech artistry, part symbolic self-portrait of society at a time of hybrid power structures. waddesdon.org.uk.

Untitled (Wood), 2019, by Graham Little, on display at Somerset House
Untitled (Wood), 2019, by Graham Little, on display at Somerset House | Image: Courtesy of Alison Jacques Gallery, London

Fruits, Vegetables; Fruit and Vegetable Salad

Sculpture, a lip-smacking salad and a chew over questions about what we think of as “art”– what’s not to love? Currently on show at New York’s Whitney Museum is an assortment of exotic fruit and garden veg on wooden pedestals – where they remain until the brink of overripeness, before being sliced, diced and served to art lovers. The installation continues American artist Darren Bader’s quest to understand what constitutes art, a project that has seen him inject lasagne with heroin and release goats into a gallery as “found objects”. whitney.org.

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Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi

A psychedelic-meets-poetic ode to the power, potential and pulchritude of the mushroom has just opened at Somerset House, curated by HTSI contributor Francesca Gavin. Watercolours, collages and oil paintings by mycophiles, from Takashi Murakami to Beatrix Potter, embrace the scientific, the expressive and the trippy, while weird and wonderful mycelium products end things on a Tomorrow’s World note. somersethouse.org.uk.

Tree..., 2012, by Myoung Ho Lee, which appears in the Hayward exhibition at the Southbank Centre from March 4
Tree..., 2012, by Myoung Ho Lee, which appears in the Hayward exhibition at the Southbank Centre from March 4 | Image: Courtesy of Myoung Ho Lee and Gallery Hyundai

Among the Trees

Trees may be our soldiers in the climate battle, but that’s only one chapter in their history, posits the Hayward exhibition, from March 4, with works by Tacita Dean and Peter Doig. First, get lost in their scale, as 6m-tall sculptures and 16m-long video portraits spotlight the “wood wide web”. Next, their cultural significance, from Robert Adams’s photographs of woodclearing for industrial farming to Steve McQueen’s of a tree used for lynching black Americans. Finally, tree as mega symbol: tree of life, family tree and icon of endurance. southbankcentre.co.uk.

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