illycaffè returns to Frieze New York to celebrate 30 years of the illy Art Collection

Presents the most iconic collections of three decades of contemporary artists’ work

NEW YORK, NY May 17th, 2022 illycaffè returns to Frieze New York to celebrate 30 years of the illy Art Collection, the iconic espresso cups that turned an everyday object into a blank canvas to feature the work of internationally-acclaimed artists over the past three decades.

Frieze guests attending this year’s art fair at The Shed, a cultural center located at Hudson Yards, can enjoy a coffee experience that infuses art at the core, inspiring the senses where beauty is expressed not only through visual pleasure, but through taste and smell.  

The iconic cup created in 1991 for illy by one of Italy’s greatest designers, Matteo Thun, envisioned the cup as not only a vessel for drinking, but as a vehicle for information, conscious and subconscious. Thun created a distinctive design, a simple and harmonious cup with a purposeful shape and round handle that became a medium for Artists’ expression and one of the largest contemporary collections of obtainable art in the world.

“The illy Art Collection project represents the intellectual stimulus entrusted to the creativity of 125 contemporary artists including world famous talents,” said Carlo Bach, global creative director of illycaffè. “I’m very proud of this 30-year milestone knowing the cup has become a recognizable symbol of beauty and quality that is a source of inspiration and pleasure for illy coffee lovers every day.”

A selection of historic illy Art Collection cups will be on display within the illy coffee bar located on the 8th floor of the Shed, where guests can enjoy expertly crafted drinks including espresso shots, cappuccino, and cold brew, all featuring illy’s signature blend of 100 percent Arabica coffee.

Frieze attendees can also see the newest illy Art Collection inspired by the theme of Biennale Arte 2022, The Milk of Dreams, which is in turn inspired by Leonora Carrington’s book, in which the British writer and painter describes a magic world where life is constantly re-invented through the prism of imagination, and where everyone is allowed to change, transform, and transcend the self. 

The authors of this new 2022 spring collection are 6 artists whose styles and geographical origins are profoundly different, and who were selected by Cecilia Alemani, the curator of Biennale Arte 2022. They are Cecilia Vicuña, who was recently awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, Felipe Baeza, Giulia Cenci, Precious Okoyomon, Alexandra Pirici, and Aki Sasamoto.