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Continuing Outset’s partnership with the Government Art Collection (GAC), we have launched the second print of The TenTen Commission: a ten-year initiative produced by Outset with GAC and sponsored by leading philanthropists Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr.

Every year a British artist is commissioned to create a unique, limited edition print to be shown in diplomatic buildings across the world. A small number are available for purchase through a collaboration with Outset to raise funds for the GAC acquisition fund. The 10-year scheme was launched last year with the inaugural award given to the artist Hurvin Anderson.

The 2019 edition was created by renowned artist Tacita Dean. A self-declared collector of clouds, Tacita Dean’s Foreign Policy (screenprint edition) reflects an ongoing series of works and a very specific moment in time. The screenprint is an interpretation of a similarly titled large-scale work drawn in chalk on the blackboard from 2016, currently on loan by the artist to Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Head of HM Diplomatic Service.

Dean’s cloud collection began in 2014 following her move from Berlin to Los Angeles, where she describes a seminal encounter with a ‘voluminous atomic cloud blooming’ across Sunset Boulevard ‘on pure azure without transitional haze nor other, lesser clouds for company. Since declaring California as ‘the place for clouds’, the artist has drawn them in chalk on blackboards and spray chalk on slates, ‘found them on postcards, painted round them, photographed and printed them’.

Foreign Policy, 2016, which was drawn specifically with its destination in the Foreign Office in mind, simultaneously evokes the challenge of capturing the mutability of clouds and an epoch of unprecedented global change and uncertainty. The title shifts the subject of a cloud, whose ‘identity’ is challenging to capture, to a thought-provoking reflection on global relations. The cloud, whose symbolism gives us both dark warnings and silver linings, is universal and yet defined and shaped by its environment Known foremost for her work in film and commitment to preserving this medium for the future, Tacita Dean’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses drawing, painting and photography.

Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr

For the second year of the TenTen Commission, we are delighted to support the production of Foreign Policy (screenprint edition), a new commissioned print edition by British artist Tacita Dean. A lyrical representation of a Californian cloudscape, this new work is beautiful and provocative in equal measure. Inspired by the success of FAPE (the Foundation for Arts and Preservation in Embassies) in the USA, we initiated the TenTen Commission last year with the guidance and support of the Government Art Collection (GAC) and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

Over the ten-year project, an artist is selected annually by the GAC and its Advisory Committee and commissioned to create a new print edition that joins the Collection. Celebrating new work by leading British artists, TenTen ensures that their work is represented and enjoyed by visitors and staff in British government buildings and embassies around the world. We are delighted that TenTen contributes towards the continuing development of the GAC, a major national collection that plays a vital role promoting British art, history and culture.

Tacita Dean

Tacita Dean was born in Canterbury in 1965, lives and works in Berlin, Germany, and Los Angeles, California.

She is best known as an artist who works with film, her 16 and 35 mm films express something is very purely routed in film itself. Though analogue film is central to her practice Dean also works in a variety of other media including photography and drawing.

In 2014 Dean became an artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute; she was awarded the Kurt Schwitters Prize in 2009; the Hugo Boss Prize in 2006 and received a DAAD Fellowship 2001-2. She was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2008. In 2011-12, her piece FILM was featured in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern as part of the Unilever Series.

In 2018, Dean’s work was the subject of an unprecedented collaboration between three London museums: National Gallery: Still Life, National Portrait Gallery: Portrait and Royal Academy: Landscape. These three exhibitions were shaped by her response to the individual character of each institution and explored different genres through the lens of Dean’s own practice. The Dante Project, a collaboration with choreographer Wayne MacGregor and composer Thomas Ades, will receive its world premiere at the Royal Opera House in spring 2020.

She was appointed a CBE in 2019.

The Government Art Collection

The Government Art Collection (GAC), established in 1898, is a national collection of historic, modern and contemporary British art that is displayed in government buildings in the UK and around the world. These locations include 10 & 11 Downing Street, government departments and residences and offices of British Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Consulates-General across 155 capital cities worldwide. The Collection, seen by thousands of visitors annually, promotes British art and contributes to cultural diplomacy. We work to widen engagement with audiences beyond government through partnerships and participation in local, national and international events.