Fine art meets fine foods at Fortnum's

Luxury London department store opens its doors to modern art with a new exhibition

John Virtue paintings on show at Fortnum & Mason store in London
(Image credit: Peter Mallet)

Lucky shoppers and tourists might find that something very different catches their eye alongside the fine foods and luxury goods at Fortnum & Mason’s Piccadilly store over the next few weeks, as fine art takes it place alongside the fine foods in a major new exhibition.  

Striking monochromatic landscapes by modern British artist John Virtue will be shown across all seven floors of the luxury London department store from now until 20 October 2018.  

Virtue’s large-scale creations, worked in a mix of white acrylic paint, black ink and shellac, include abstract landscapes and some familiar landmarks. Look carefully and you might spy St Paul’s, the London Eye, and The Gherkin among the 60 or more idiosyncratic canvases.

The exhibition, entitled Fortnum’s X Frank 2018 (FXF18), continues the brand’s annual collaboration with art collector Frank Cohen and has been timed to coincide with London Design Festival. 

John Virtue Untitled No. 1 (2012-17) acrylic on canvas 183 x 183cm courtesy of Albion Barn

Modern British artist John Virtue's Untitled No. 1 acrylic on canvas, one of more than 60 of his works in Fortnum's X Frank 2018 exhibition 

(Image credit: John Virtue Untitled No. 1 acrylic on canvas courtesy of Albion Barn)

Ewan Venters, CEO Fortnum & Mason, says, ‘Fortnum & Mason is about creating a sense of pleasure, and while we focus on things that taste amazing, art enhances the sensory pleasure of the store and creates an intellectual pleasure for those that enjoy it. As a British, family business, it seems a perfect fit to have John Virtue's incredible landscapes and seascapes exhibited in our home throughout one of the busiest months in London's art calendar.’

Entrance to FXF18 is free and the exhibition is open every day – see the store opening hours for details.  

Karen Darlow
After a brief foray into music journalism, fashion and beauty, Karen found herself right at home working on interior magazines with her role on Ideal Home magazine. She is now Homes Editor on Period Living magazine and loves the opportunity the job gives her to see how others mix vintage style and modern furnishings in their beautiful properties.