The painter Hurvin Anderson, who was nominated for the 2017 Turner Prize, has been awarded the first commission by the Government Art Collection (GAC) as part of a new ten-year initiative produced by GAC and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.
The TenTen Commission is sponsored by Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr and every year for the next decade will see a British artist commissioned to create a unique, limited edition print.
The print will be shown in diplomatic buildings across the world and a small number will be available for purchase, with the money raised going towards the GAC acquisition fund.
The inaugural commission will see 15 prints of Anderson’s Still Life With Artificial Flowers framed and displayed in British embassies and residences worldwide. The print is described as evoking ‘a snapshot of the artist’s mother’s front room in Birmingham’.
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Announcing the commission, minister for arts, heritage and tourism Michael Ellis MP said: “Art and culture is one of our great calling cards to the world. I am delighted that Hurvin Anderson will be the first of ten artists to take part in this exciting initiative that will support the Government Art Collection’s role in promoting British art on the global stage.”
To produce the print, Anderson has worked with The Print Studio’s Kip Gresham and Alan Grabham to replicate sourced and saved fabrics and wallpapers. The 13 base colours in the print are built up from 15 stencils over 21 layers.
Explaining how the TenTen initiative came about, Penny Johnson CBE, director of GAC, said: “We were thrilled to be approached by Sybil and Matthew Robson Orr with their idea to commission artists to make prints for display in British diplomatic buildings around the world. What was also extraordinary was their ten-year commitment enabling the commissioning of ten artists.
“This is the first time that the GAC has been given substantial and sustained sponsorship by individuals in its 120-year history. We are very grateful to the Robson Orrs for their vision and to Candida Gertler of Outset, a charity who has long championed our collection’s development, for introducing the initiative and for collaborating with us to develop the concept.”
1. Hurvin Anderson portrait
2. Hurvin Anderson, Still Life with Artificial Flowers, 2018, inaugural TenTen Government Art Collection/Outset Annual Commission