Maddox Celebrates Chelsea in Bloom | Banksy | Will Martyr | Yuki Aruga

Maddox Gallery celebrates London in bloom and paintings of nature, universal symbols of beauty and joy

Universal symbols of beauty and joy, the impulse to paint flowers is as old as history itself. As a new generation of Maddox artists put their creative stamp on this classic subject. At this time of year, you can keep track of the passing weeks by the flowers that are in bloom. The tulips may have faded, but in their place, irises are standing tall, and the first flush of roses has arrived. After the long, cold months of winter, nature’s awakening is always a wonder to behold. Throughout history, flowers have been widely represented in the arts, with painters, in particular, drawn to their fragile beauty. From Van Gogh’s Sunflowers to Monet’s Water Lilies series, flowers have played not only a decorative, but also a symbolic role in the paintings of many great masters, with the sunflowers presented as emblems of happiness and gratitude.  

This kind of romantic symbolism, referred to as floriography by the Victorians, may have all but died out today, but the desire to paint flowers is as strong as ever. Whether it is the opulent bouquets of Will Martyr or Banksy’s iconic Flower Thrower, which replaces a bomb with a bunch of blooms, reviving the peaceful resistance movement of the 1960s, the flower has lost none of its attraction among today’s contemporary artists. 

Next week Yuki Aruga debuts her solo exhibition at Maddox Mayfair titled Without End, an exhibition of paintings made up of things she finds beautiful in her every day, with flowers, and roses in particular, a favourite subject. Capturing fleeting moments in time when a rose blooms and quickly fades, each painting can be viewed as a metaphor for the cycle of life.

Banksy: Love Is In The Air (Flower Thrower) 2007. Now showing at Maddox, 9 Maddox Street.

Will Martyr: You Make Me Who I Never Thought I Could Be, 2023. Now showing Maddox, 112 Westbourne Grove.

Yuki Aruga: Orbit I, 2022 Coming soon to Maddox, 8th June 2023.