LONDON, UK — illycaffè celebrates 30 years of the illy Art Collection – the iconic espresso cups that have turned an everyday object into a blank canvas featuring the work of internationally-acclaimed artists – with an exhibition held at the Royal Gardens in Venice at Biennale from April 20th to June 30th, 2022.
Visitors will be able to discover how 125 international artists of contemporary art have interpreted the historic white cup designed in 1991 by Matteo Thun. The exhibition showcases 114 collections and 459 different cups, representing one of the largest collections of contemporary art in the world.
Inspired by the Royal Gardens, the installation of the illy Art Collection evokes a garden in which the cups represent flowers and where the industrial architectural decoration blends with nature. The cups have been displayed in chronological order decorating a fluid structure, with plants peeking out underneath.
Searching for what is beautiful and new, then bringing it out and showcasing it is the main reason as to why illycaffè continues to support La Biennale and has done since 2003. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the cup collection this year, illycaffè will introduce the new illy Art Collection at Biennale, designed by 6 artists selected by curator Cecilia Alemani from those exhibiting their works at La Biennale Arte 2022: Felipe Baeza, Giulia Cenci, Precious Okoyomon, Alexandra Pirici, Aki Sasamoto, and Cecilia Vicuña.
Over the course of La Biennale Arte 2022, the exhibition will be the backdrop to a series of conversations among the protagonists of contemporary art in which artists, curators and patrons will meet to talk about current themes.
“A cup of illy coffee represents the union of good taste, beauty, and sustainability – explains illycaffè CEO Cristina Scocchia –This alliance finds substance in the illy Art Collection, the everyday objects in which the various languages of the illy universe have been coming together for the last 30 years. Anyone enjoying an illy espresso in one of the collection’s cups can combine, in one simple gesture, the flavour and aroma of illy’s sustainable quality Arabica blend with a complete aesthetic, visual, and tactile experience in close touch with contemporary art”.
Visitors to the 59th International Art Exhibition will be able to enjoy the illy blend in all bars and restaurants at the exhibition venues. During the exhibition, the refreshment stands located in the Giardini della Biennale and the Arsenale will feature illy espresso and illy cold brew and Ready to Drink coffee available from illy’s cargo bikes.