Fortnum’s X Frank 2018 to feature British landscape artist, John Virtue

Just announced Fortnum & Mason will be continuing their annual artistic collaboration Fortnum’s X Frank 2018 (FXF18), 10th September – 20th October, with eminent art collector, Frank Cohen, presenting a rich body of work by British landscape artist, John Virtue. The in-store exhibition follows last year’s presentation of work by John Bellany and the inaugural group show in 2016.

Fortnum's X Frank 2018, Ewan Venters, John Virtue, Frank Cohen, Courtesy Fortnum & Mason, Credit Phillip Sinden
Fortnum’s X Frank 2018, Ewan Venters, John Virtue, Frank Cohen, Courtesy Fortnum & Mason, Credit Phillip Sinden

John Virtue is one of the most distinguished painters working today in the United Kingdom. He was awarded the post of Associate Artist at the National Gallery and this will be the first time since his 2005 National Gallery show that such an extensive oeuvre of works has been seen in London. Fortnum’s X Frank 2018 (FXF18) will see 70 large-scale monochromatic works by Virtue placed across the floors of the luxury London store, in the heart of Piccadilly.

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

John Virtue, Landscape No.43 (1986-87), black ink, shellac, gouache on paper, laid on board, 147 x 220 cm, Courtesy of Albion Barn
John Virtue, Landscape No.43 (1986-87), black ink, shellac, gouache on paper, laid on board, 147 x 220 cm, Courtesy of Albion Barn

Fortnum’s X Frank 2018 (FXF18) is curated by Robert Upstone, former Director at the Fine Art Society, which he joined in 2010 from Tate Britain where he was Head of Modern British Art.

Fortnum’s X Frank 2018 (FXF18) will coincide with London Design Festival, culminating in a diverse programme of cultural celebrations and content moments in-store throughout September. Fortnum’s has a long-standing commitment to the arts, supporting generations of artists and designers through its connections with the Royal Academy, the Royal College of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art and the Bloomsbury Group, alongside Fortnum’s own distinguished collection.

“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. With Frank’s astute collectors eye and Robert’s impeccable curation, we are able to challenge and inspire our customers as they move throughout the store.

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.”

Ewan Venters, CEO Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum’s X Frank Presents John Virtue: 10th September – 20th October 2018

John Virtue, Landscape No.174 (1990 - 1992), acrylic, emulsion, charcoal, gouache, pencil, black ink, shellac on board. 181 x 298cm, Courtesy of Albion Barn
John Virtue, Landscape No.174 (1990 – 1992), acrylic, emulsion, charcoal, gouache, pencil, black ink, shellac on board. 181 x 298cm, Courtesy of Albion Barn

About The Artist
John Virtue, born 1947, originally from Accrington, Lancashire, studied at the Slade School of Fine Art (1965 – 1969) by Frank Auerbach, with whom he maintains close friendship to this day. Virtue specialises in monochrome landscapes, initially painting before moving to pen and ink. From 2003 – 2005, he was the sixth associate artist at London’s National Gallery, a scheme that engages contemporary artists to produce work that connects to the gallery’s collection, demonstrating the continuation of old master traditions.

An Honorary Professor at the University of Plymouth and internationally exhibitor including the Serpentine Gallery, Whitechapel London, Tate St Ives and his work hangs in the public and private collections of Tate Britain, the British Museum, V&A, Walker Art Centre, the Yale Centre for British Art and many more. John Virtue has worked with a number of distinguished international galleries, including Lisson Gallery, Bernard Jacobson, Marlborough Gallery and LA Louver Gallery in Los Angeles but is now solely represented by Michael Hue-Williams / Albion Barn, with whom he has made four solo exhibitions.
A major monograph is being prepared to be published by Albion Barn Publishing and Ridinghouse Editions, being written by the former senior curator of TATE and National Portrait Gallery, Paul Moorhouse.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018