illycaffè is supporting the Lee Ufan retrospective, which is set to take place at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart in Berlin
The renowned artist has recently put his signature on the latest illy Art Collection from the Trieste-based company
Berlin, October 26, 2023 – illycaffè, the global coffee brand known for its commitment to sustainable quality and its unique connection to the world of contemporary art, is backing the retrospective of Lee Ufan. He's one of the most significant figures associated with the Mono-Ha school, an artistic movement that blends raw materials with industrial elements. The retrospective will run from October 27, 2023, to April 28, 2024, at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart (National Gallery of Contemporary Art) in Berlin.
Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the exhibition offers a comprehensive view of the work of this Korean artist and philosopher, spanning 50 years through around fifty artworks. Visitors seeking a moment of refreshment can pause at the illy bike on the museum's ground floor and enjoy a coffee break while savoring the unique illy blend.
"We are very happy to support the retrospective of Lee Ufan, an artist who won us over for his ability to describe complex concepts through the essentiality of his strokes – declares Cristina Scocchia, CEO of illycaffè – Even with the decoration he proposed for the latest illy Art Collection, the artist wanted to ideally offer us the physical and temporal space to dedicate to people and the environment that surrounds us. A coffee break to be experienced with the simplicity that his artistic thought transmits to us”.
Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Directors of Hamburger Bahnhof said. "Lee Ufan is globally renowned as a pioneering artist who, over the course of six decades, has pushed the boundaries of painting and sculpture. His unique approach to minimalism, coupled with his profound grasp of philosophy and Literature, sets him apart from most of his contemporaries, resulting in a practice that is truly universal. We are grateful for illycaffè’s support in making Lee Ufan’s first comprehensive retrospective in Germany at Hamburger Bahnhof."
Lee Ufan has signed the illy Art Collection, which has just been introduced to the international market. With his distinctive minimalistic style, the artist used the iconic cups that have transformed an everyday object into a blank canvas over the years, attracting renowned international artists. He used these cups to convey his idea of a meeting, that specific moment when the brush meets the canvas in time and space. The illy Art Collection cups, indeed, feature a single bold brushstroke to maintain the necessary space for various elements to interact and create a connection between the white porcelain and the artwork. You'll be able to purchase this collection at the museum's bookshop.
About Lee Ufan:
Lee Ufan, currently residing between Tokyo and Paris, was born in Korea in 1936. He graduated from Nihon University in Tokyo with a degree in Philosophy in 1961 and later became a professor emeritus at Tama Art University. He is a leading figure in the Mono-ha (School of Things), a contemporary art movement that emerged in the late 1960s. Some of his major exhibitions include "Lee Ufan" (2001, Kunstmuseum Bonn), "Lee Ufan: L'arte Dei Margini" (2005, Yokohama Museum of Art), "Risonanza" (2007, Venice Biennale), "Lee Ufan" (2008, Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium), "Marking Infinity" (2011, Guggenheim Museum NYC), "Lee Ufan Versailles" (2014, Château de Versailles), "Lee Ufan: Inhabiting Time" (2019, Center Pompidou-Metz), and "Lee Ufan: Dimensione Aperta" (2019, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).
About illy Art Collection:
For illycaffè, which upholds the values of Good, Goodness, and Beauty, contemporary art enhances the beauty of taste. This beauty is inspired by the ancient Greek concept of kalokagathìa, combining "kalòs" (beautiful) and "agathòs" (good) to create a new meaning where goodness and beauty are inseparable and dependent on one another. The illy Art Collection cups are a tangible manifestation of this concept, originating in 1992. The project transforms an everyday object into a blank canvas, inviting contemporary artists to express their creativity on the coffee cup designed by Matteo Thun for illy. Over the years, more than 130 internationally renowned artists, including Michelangelo Pistoletto, Marina Abramović, Anish Kapoor, James Rosenquist, William Kentridge, Robert Wilson, and Ai Weiwei, have contributed their art to this canvas.