pioneering commissions

Creativity through collaboration

Discover new pioneering commissions from today’s most exciting contemporary artists and creatives.

In 2020, Muse unveiled Art of Perfection: Data Painting – a transfixing digital artwork by acclaimed artist Refik Anadol, which was commissioned by Muse, the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.

Created using Artificial Intelligence and data sets, the LED ‘canvas’ reflects thespirit of innovation at the heart of Muse, a commissioning programme for the most exciting artists and creatives working today.


Reflecting on the collaboration, Anadol says: ‘There is a direct correlation between Rolls-Royce’s process and mine, in that we harness machines and machine intelligence to actualize our vision of beauty’. Art of Perfection: Data Painting uses data sets that reflect every car paint colour developed at Goodwood, the Home of Rolls-Royce, over the last decade. Anadol was ‘excited’ to access this ‘complex computational data’, which became his ‘raw material’.

Refik Anadol, Art of Perfection: Data Painting, 2019, Commissioned by the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.

Image courtesy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

‘There is a direct correlation between Rolls-Royce’s process and mine, in that we harness machines and machine intelligence to actualize our vision of beauty.’

Refik Anadol

Anadol is just one of the artists in the Muse programme which also includes new commissions by artist Dan Holdsworth, who uses new imaging technologies to develop a better understanding of the natural world.

Created in 2018, his Acceleration Structures map the intricate topography of three Alpine glaciers, revealing new aspects of each in images that combine technical detail and beauty.

Dan Holdsworth, Acceleration Structures, Commissioned by the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.

Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Other artists include pioneering Chinese filmmaker Yang Fudong, who looks at Chinese mythology and the virtues of perseverance and willpower. All of these significant artists commissions respond to a fast-changing world where technology and environmental considerations are paramount for our shared futures.

Yang Fudong, Moving Mountains, 2016.

Commissioned by the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.

To further its ambition to support artists in creating innovative new works, Muse incorporates two dedicated commissioning initiatives. The first is the Dream Commission - a biennial commission for an emerging or mid-career artist specialising in the moving image. The selected artist can work across a range of media, including experimental film, animation, augmented and virtual reality and installation. In October 2020, the shortlisted artists will be announced, and the finalist’s commission will be unveiled in 2021.

For artist Isaac Julien, the Dream Commission is a ‘rare’ opportunity for artists ‘to really have a space to develop their aesthetics and dive into an area where they have the autonomy to make a work that resonates’. In 2015, Muse commissioned Julien to create Opaline Blue (Stones Against Diamonds) – a film exploring the beauty of the Icelandic landscape. ‘Being commissioned is so important in an artist’s career,’ he adds. ‘It gave me the space to innovate’.

Isaac Julien, Under Opaline Blue (Stones Against Diamonds), 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

Commissioned by the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.

‘Being commissioned is so important in an artist’s career. It gave me the space to innovate.’

Isaac Julien

Every two years, a new Dream Commission begins with an international selection process, led by expert nominators from across the art world, and a jury of curators, museum directors and artists (who include Julien). The final artwork is developed and presented in partnership with two of the world’s leading art institutions: Fondation Beyeler, in Switzerland, and Serpentine Galleries, London.

Muse’s second commissioning initiative expands to include creative fields to include design, architecture, fashion, and craft – while retaining an accent on innovation. The Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge invites three visionaries from across the globe to re-imagine the sculptural figure that has graced the bonnet of every Rolls-Royce motor car for more than a century.

The inaugural edition the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge will invite participants to create designs using textiles – encouraging each to push the limits of the medium, to create objects which surprise, delight and inspire.

Muse is also proud to support our museum partners, reflecting our mission to promote artists who share our restless desire to create and explore new ways of thinking. Past exhibitions include Blueprints – the first major UK solo exhibition of Cao Fei, which was held at the Serpentine Galleries in 2020. The exhibition explores how we navigate ever-evolving cities, using film, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality to take visitors on a multi-sensory journey – fulfilling one of Muse’s key aims — to inspire.

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