Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner will be the first artist to exhibit in The Gallery at Foyles, when the new flagship bookshop opens in June.
Titchner, an alumnus of Central Saint Martins, which formerly occupied the premises where the new Foyles store is based, is renowned for incorporating text into his artworks.
“It would be hard to find a better candidate the first show in The Gallery at Foyles,” the company said. “As a student in the 1990s, Titchner’s painting studio used to exist on the same floor.”
Titchner will create a new site-specific artwork for Foyles, which will directly relate to the rich cultural history of the building. The exhibition will open on Tuesday 24th June.
Events agency Futurecity has been also been appointed as lead curator and gallery manager for the 1,300 sqft exhibition space on the fifth level of the new flagship bookshop. Futurecity has advised on the strategy for the new store’s cultural hub since 2012.
In further news of the company’s business partnerships for the new store, independent catering company, Leafi, which already operates in a number of arts and heritage sites including the Whitechapel Gallery and Turner Contemporary in Margate and sources its ingredients form small, local suppliers, has been awarded the contract to run The Café at Foyles on the same floor.
Sion Hamilton, retail operations director at Foyles, said: “Bookshops, by nature, are temples of culture, and our popular music, theatre, art and cookery departments are some of the largest in London. The events spaces in our new flagship shop will bring our books to life, providing a place for our customers to meet, eat, converse, listen and contemplate.”
Mark Davy, director of Futurecity, said the gallery in the new Foyles store would be the “first of its kind” in London, promising “exciting conversations and collaborations between artists, writers and other creative disciplines inside Foyles flagship store."
Fiona Barber, director of Leafi, meanwhile, said the Café at Foyles was “as much an institution as the bookshop itself” and vowed to continue on the tradition.
The new Foyles bookshop, at 107 Charing Cross Road, is just a few doors down from its current location, which was formerly home to Central Saint Martins.
The building has been re-designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands as “a bookshop for the 21st century” and is spread across eight alternating foot-plates over four floors, with a full height central atrium.
Both the gallery and the new Café at Foyles, also around 1,300 sqft in size, have been designed by lustedgreen, the interior specialists behind Foyles London Waterloo Station and Foyles Westfield Stratford City.