Black, white and read all over Illy partners Christopher Knowles’ personal exhibition at the Milan Triennale

Milan, 2 September 2014 – Last night illy, involved in the world of art and culture since its beginnings,  it was pleased to present the personal exhibition of Christopher Knowles, artist and assistant to Robert Wilson, who repeatedly inspired his theatrical works, titled Black, White and Read all over.  A journey through the works of the American artist will be open to visitors from 3 to 28 September in the illyartlab area of the Milan Triennale.

“With this initiative it continues the engagement of illycaffè in collaborating with Triennale, with which we are developing a journey made of coffee, art and sustainability; this journey will bring us to EXPO 2015, where illy is Official Coffee Partner and curator of the Coffee Cluster, the coffee pavillion within the exposision” states Andrea illy, president and CEO of illycaffè.

Christopher Knowles’s diverse practice, which includes writing, painting, sculpture, and performance, exhibits a fascination with the aural and visual elements of language. His typings represent one area of a career-long practice in concrete poetry.

Rendered on an electric typewriter, the 20 works on paper that are included in this exhibition employ Knowles’s signature use of textual patterning, in which subtle linguistic variations are woven through a highly structured composition to create an intricate layering of visual, aural, and textual elements. Here, words and letters are used as building blocks to create geometric visual structures in black and red ink. This playful and deliberate disintegration of linguistic form invites the viewer to focus on the text's material qualities—the sound and rhythm of the phrasing, the shape and color of the words on the page—rather than on its implied meaning or content.

Born in 1959, Christopher Knowles lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His long collaboration with Robert Wilson began in 1973, when Wilson invited him to perform in his play The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He also wrote the libretto for Wilson and Philip Glass’s opera Einstein on the Beach, which premiered in 1976.

First exhibited as a solo artist in 1974, Knowles has continued to cultivate a prolific practice that explores themes surrounding communication and sign systems. His work has been exhibited in many solo and group showings internationally, and his poetry has been published in a variety of magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, The Village Voice, and Interview Magazine. His two and three-dimensional works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and numerous other international institutions and private collections. His large typing Untitled (Christopher Knowles, Puevfgbcure Xabjyrf) was featured in MoMA’s 2012 exhibition Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language. Knowles is represented by Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York.

The project’s curator is the Change Performing Arts, a Milan-based association that has been curating Robert Wilson’s productions internationally.

For the press kit and images, please click here

Where: Milan Triennale – illyartlab
Exhibition: from 3 to 28 September 2014 during the Triennale’s opening times – free entrance.
Opening: Tuesday 2 September at 6.30pm – invitation only.

illycaffè, with headquarters in Trieste, produces and markets a unique blend of espresso coffee and is the leading brand in the high-end segment of the coffee market. More than 6 million cups of illy espresso coffee are enjoyed every day. Sold in more than 140 countries around the world, illy is available in more than 100,000 of the world’s best restaurants and cafés. espressamente illy, the Italian-style coffee franchising chain, is present with 230 outlets in more than 30 countries to date. To grow and spread the culture of coffee, the company has established Coffee University, a center of excellence that offers full training in all aspects of coffee theory and practice to growers, baristas and coffee lovers. Globally, the company employs around 1,050 people and, in 2013, recorded consolidated sales of € 373.9 million. illycaffé buys green coffee directly from growers of the best Arabica through partnerships based on sustainable development. Working with the best growers in the world – in Brazil, Central America, India, Africa and China – the Trieste-based company develops long-term relationships that transfer know-how and technology to growers while paying above the market rate for their production.

For more information:
illycaffè – Anna Adriani/Christine Pascolo,Tel. 040/389.0111 – Fax 040/389.0490
illy Press Office – Connexia
Valentina Calaminici:
Ilaria Montalti: