Fortnum’s X Frank is one of the boldest and most exciting projects in our history. We could not be more thrilled to be hosting Frank Cohen’s collection, one of the most important private collections of Modern British art in the world, in the heart of our busy and bustling shop. During the course of this month-long collaboration, more than 60 pieces from Frank’s collection will be displayed across every inch of our Piccadilly home.For me personally, there is something tremendously exciting about the thought of customers shopping for their favourite tea and stumbling upon a major work of Modern British art. Though hopefully (and for the express benefit of our insurers, should they be reading) only stumbling in a metaphorical sense, of course.The calibre of artists in the exhibition is staggering. Names like Frank Auerbach, Charming Baker, Tracey Emin, Howard Hodgkin, Leon Kossoff, Paula Rego, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Bridget Riley, William Roberts, and Stuart Pearson Wright - to name a few - are enough to set pulses racing among even the most casual art-lovers.Some of the pieces on display you will fall in love with instantly, others may burn a little slower, but all will make a lasting impression. We’re indebted to Frank for the incalculable part he has played in bringing this provocative, unusual project to life. So too Robert Upstone, former Director of Modern British Art at the Fine Art Society and Curator of Modern British Art at Tate Britain, who has curated this show.But before the serious business of exploring the exhibition begins, there is one very important matter to clear up.As far as I know, Frank’s wonderful collection has not made its way inside Fortnum’s because of a John Paddy Carstairs-type arrangement. We are not the lucky recipients of so much significant art because of an outstanding bill from the Cohen household for Royal Blend or Chocolossus biscuits.Though of course, if Frank Cohen suddenly fancied trading an Auerbach for a caddy or two or a tall tin or three, I’m sure there is something we could do.On behalf of all at Fortnum & Mason, enjoy the exhibition.
Ewan Venters, CEO Fortnum & Mason.