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illycaffè continues its partnership with Frieze Los Angeles where it presents its latest illy Art Collection designed by Lee Ufan

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LOS ANGELES, USA – illycaffè proudly serves as the global coffee partner for Frieze Los Angeles, the international contemporary art fair. In its fifth edition, the fair will feature over 90 galleries at the Santa Monica Airport from February 29th to March 3rd, along with a rich program of special projects and collaborations.

“We are pleased to officially announce our continued partnership with Frieze in Los Angeles, a significant international fair on the global stage. We share a common goal of celebrating contemporary art in all its nuances, leveraging its aesthetic universe, and fostering creativity,” stated Cristina Scocchia, CEO of illycaffè.

During Frieze Los Angeles, illycaffè showcases the illy Art Collection, designed by the artist Lee Ufan

Ufan, a painter and philosopher and a founding figure of the avant-garde Mono-Ha (School of Things) movement in Tokyo in the late 1960s, is renowned for his pursuit of essentiality. His philosophy is reflected in the design of the new illy Art Collection, characterized by reductionist painting with fluid lines and brushstrokes. Even the gesture in creating the artwork plays a significant role.

Ufan’s artistic expression conveys the concept of encounter – that crucial moment in time and space when the brush meets the canvas. The cup’s surface remains partially unpainted, emphasizing the connection between the white porcelain and the artist’s creation. This deliberate choice prompts reflection on the significance of moderation and simplicity, encouraging us to be mindful of our surroundings and to focus on what Ufan refers to as “the world as it is.”

Within the illy space, located in the fair’s external area, the Exhibitor Lounge, and other selected refreshment points, visitors, artists, and exhibitors have the opportunity to explore the new illy Art Collection. Additionally, they can take a moment to relax and savor the distinctive aroma of the illy blend

illy and contemporary art – illy art collection

illy is a global coffee brand founded in Trieste in 1933 and recognized for its sustainable quality and for its role as a key partner for contemporary art for more than 30 years. The Italian company has transformed an everyday object, such as the white espresso cup, into one of the most complete – and accessible to all – collections of art objects in the world.


The search for, discovery, and enhancement of beauty and that which is new are distinctive characteristics of illy’s corporate culture. In order to make the most of them, the Trieste-based company is collaborating with the main global contemporary art fairs such as Frieze.

For illycaffè, whose distinctive values are Good, Goodness, Beauty, contemporary art adds beauty to taste. The beauty illycaffè strives to achieve is inspired by the ancient Greek concept of kalokagathìa, which combines kalòs (that which is beautiful) and agathòs (that which is good) to create a new meaning in which beauty and goodness become one, each depending on the other.

The illy Art Collection cups are a tangible expression of this concept. This project was launched in 1992, and through it the company transformed an everyday object into a blank canvas by inviting contemporary artists to express their creativity on the espresso cup that Matteo Thun designed for illy. Over the years, this canvas has featured the work of over 125 internationally renowned artists, including Michelangelo Pistoletto, Marina Abramović, Anish Kapoor, William Kentridge, Mona Hatoum, Ai Weiwei and others…

Coffee lovers sipping an illy espresso from a cup designed by an artist combine the aroma and flavour of the illy blend with a complete aesthetic, visual, and tactile experience, entering into a relationship with contemporary art.


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