illycaffè celebrates 30 years of illy Art Collection together with one of the leading artists of the 21st century in the Royal Gardens in Venice.

Venice, April 20, 2022 – illycaffè is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the illy Art Collection – the iconic espresso cups that have transformed an everyday object into a blank canvas depicting the work of internationally renowned artists over the years – with an exhibition to be held at the Royal Gardens in Venice from April 20 to June 30, 2022.

Visitors will discover how 125 international artists of contemporary art have interpreted the historic white espresso cup designed in 1991 by Matteo Thun. The exhibition reveals 109 collections and 459 different cups, representing one of the largest collections of contemporary art in the world.

Inspired by the Royal Gardens, the illy Art Collection installation evokes a flower garden where the cups represent the flowers and where industrial, architectural decoration blends with nature.

Searching for what is beautiful and new, then bringing it out and exhibiting it: this is the spirit with which illycaffè has supported La Biennale since 2003. On the occasion of this year’s edition, illycaffè introduces the new illy Art Collection, designed by six artists selected by curator Cecilia Alemani among those who exhibit their work 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 setting for a series of conversations between the great masters of contemporary art, in which artists, curators and contributors talk about current themes.

“A cup of illy coffee represents the combination 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 different languages of the illy universe have come together for the last thirty years. Anyone enjoying an illy espresso in one of the cups from the collection can, in one simple movement, combine the taste and aroma of illy’s sustainable quality Arabica blend with a complete aesthetic, visual and tactile experience in close contact with contemporary art.”

Visitors to the 59th International Art Exhibition can enjoy the illy blend in all bars and restaurants at the exhibition sites. During the exhibition, illy espresso, illy Cold Brew and Ready to Drink coffee will be available at the stands in the Giardini della Biennale and the Arsenale.