The latest illy Art Collection by Gillo Dorfles

Trieste, 23 February 2016The latest illy Art Collection proudly bears the signature of Gillo Dorfles, one of the most eclectic figures in the international world of art and culture over the last few decades.

Artist, critic and intellectual, sociologist of the arts and aesthetician, Dorfles was the first to decisively come up with an international definition of the concept “kitsch” in his work “Il Kitsch. Antologia del cattivo gusto”. He went on to carve out a long career as one of the most influential movers and shakers in contemporary art.

The new illy Art Collection is inspired by a number of decorative designs for textiles that Dorfles originally drew on paper between 1937 and 1940 using the egg oil emulsion technique, an ancient approach adopted by the great fifteenth-century masters. Dorfles has revisited these designs, playfully experimenting with the repetition of a number of graphic elements and a reinterpretation of archetypical signs.

In the illy Art Collection, the forms and colours of the imaginative universe that continues to be the hallmark of Dorfles’ poetics transform the coffee break into a fully-rounded aesthetic experience – one that restores the right balance to our existence in this world.

This collaboration between the artist and illycaffè is born under the sign of shared, deeply-held values and visions. Both parties are Trieste born and bred, and both parties embrace the same Mitteleuropean cultural horizon. Gillo Dorfles has long been involved with emerging forms of expression and has focused his farsighted gaze on the future present of the Arts the same way that illy has always courageously supported emerging talent, embracing expressions of contemporary art as it supports its local area.

Beauty exists and beauty will exist always,” says Gillo Dorfles apropos of the ongoing evolution of art. “Unless the world becomes so ‘brutish’ that it transforms men into ‘brutes’.”

We have so much in common with Gillo Dorfles: the same hometown, the same love of art and design, and a similar way of looking towards the future with an objective yet dream-filled eye,” says Andrea Illy, illycaffè Chairman and CEO. “It was a great pleasure to ask Dorfles to author an illy Art Collection, our collection of coffee cups that, over the last twenty years, has attracted the leading lights of contemporary art.”

A sneak preview of one cup from the collection was held at the inauguration of the first major one-man show to celebrate the art and thought of contemporary artist “Gillo Dorfles. Essere nel tempo” (MACRO Museum of Rome, 27 November 2015 – 17 April 2016), an exhibition that illycaffè helped to put on and is supporting.

The Gillo Dorfles illy Art Collection espresso cups, cappuccino cups and mug are available from February 2016 from illy sales outlets and the site.

Furthermore, the distinctive textile designs of the great artist adorn the surface of the 250g-coffee can, which is transformed into an artwork and complete the illy Art Collection.

Recommended prices:
• Espresso cups – four-pack: € 66
• Espresso cups – two-pack: € 33
• Cappuccino cups – four-pack: € 86
• Cappuccino cups – two-pack: € 43
• Mug – two-pack: € 38
• 250g-coffee can: € 6,90

illycaffè was founded in Trieste in 1933; the company manufactures and markets a unique blend of 100% Arabica espresso coffee and is the leading brand in top quality coffee. illycaffè has been an official partner of Expo 2015, creating and managing the content, exhibits and events centred on coffee in the common area of the Expo Coffee Cluster. Almost 7 million cups of illy coffee are consumed daily throughout the world. illy coffee is sold in more than 140 countries and is served in over 100,000 of the world’s finest restaurants and cafés. The monobrand illy shops are about 230 in 43 Countries. The company also set up and runs the Coffee University with a view to fostering and spreading the culture of coffee; this centre of excellence provides comprehensive academic and hands-on training for coffee growers, baristas and fans covering every aspect of the product. The company has approximately 1,084 people on its global payroll, and in 2014 posted consolidated revenues of €391 million. illy purchases green coffee beans directly from growers of the highest quality Arabica, based on partnerships underpinned by the principles of sustainable development. Out of its Trieste headquarters the company encourages long-term partnerships with the world’s best growers in Brazil, Central America, India and Africa, sharing know-how and technology and paying higher than market compensation.