Milan, May 18th 2015 Healing the broken and preserving the unbroken are the basic concepts of Yoko Ono’s new artworks for illy Art Collection, exclusively released today on the occasion of the artist’s upcoming exhibition Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971; May 17-September 7, 2015 at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.

Yoko Ono: MENDED CUPS, an illy Art Collection, consists of six cups that bear gold, ‘shattered’ and ‘mended’ crack lines – accompanied by six individual saucers that state, in Yoko Ono’s handwriting, six catastrophic events that have affected the world; some have directly affected her life, and others only indirectly, yet bringing death to millions of people.  Each saucer states the date and place of the tragic event and concludes with the words “… mended in 2015”.

The seventh cup in the collection, UNBROKEN CUP, is untouched with no cracked or mended lines, reflecting peace and hope with Ono’s handwritten words on the saucer, “This cup will never be broken as it will be under your protection”.

Since the early 1960s, Yoko Ono has had an impact on the international art scene, helping to redefine the relationship between the artist and society through her contributions to art, performance, music, feminism, and anti-war activism.  It was this decade that fueled her 1966 work Mend Piece for her first solo show in London at the Indica Gallery, and an earlier work, Promise Piece (1961); in 1997, Ono created Crickets, a work of silence and void left by human destruction.

For MENDED CUPS, Ono used the metaphor of the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, a technique of repairing broken or cracked pottery using brushstrokes of gold and silver, a philosophy that treats the breakage and repair as part of the object’s history--an important and precious detail, rather than something to disguise.

When I learned about the project that Yoko Ono had conceived for illy, a shiver ran down my spine” said Carlo Bach, creative director for illycaffèWhen I view this illy Art Collection at once, I think about the fragility of our world, the possibility of forgiveness and the hope for a better future, which largely depends on our action”.

Furthermore, illycaffè is proud to work directly with MoMA as the primary sponsor of the Yoko Ono exhibition and is honored by the corresponding acknowledgment: “The exhibition is made possible by illy”.

During the early summer months of the exhibition, availability in the U.S. will be exclusively through The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Design Stores located at 11 and 44 West 53rd Street, and 81 Spring Street, as well as MoMAStore.org.

The Yoko Ono: Mended Cups-illy Art Collection will be available internationally at illycaffè stores and online via www.illy.com.    

The set comprises of seven espresso cups including saucers that are signed by the artist and numbered.   A booklet about the collection is included with the set at a cost of € 120,00.  The single cup, UNBROKEN CUP, will also be available at a cost of € 25,00. 

illy Art Collection
The illy Art Collection, a series of coffee cups by artists that the Trieste-based company has produced since 1992, is the clearest expression of the illycaffé connection to contemporary art. Some of the most prominent contemporary masters on the international art scene, along with emerging young talents, have transformed the everyday coffee cup – in this case the white porcelain lily cup introduced by the architect and designer Matteo Thun – into a cult object. From Michelangelo Pistoletto to Marina Abramović, Anish Kapoor to Daniel Buren, Robert Rauschenberg to Jeff Koons, Jan Fabre to James Rosenquist, Jannis Kounellis to Julian Schnabel, Louise Bourgeois to William Kentridge, more than 70 contemporary artists so far have contributed designs for the collection and formed close collaborative relationships with illy that develop along with their own artistic and cultural projects. The illy Art Collection, signed, limited and numbered, is on sale all over the world, in cafés, stores that distribute illy products and at www.illy.com. Once they sell out, the items are not reproduced.

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. illycaffè is the official partner of Expo 2015 and it takes charge of the content project and management, the exhibitions and the events associated to coffee, in the Coffee Cluster common area. 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 further info:
illycaffè – Giovanna Gregori/Christine Pascolo Tel. 040/389.0111 – Fax 040/389.0490
Ufficio stampa illy – Connexia, Tel. 02/8135541
Valentina Calaminici: valentina.calaminici@connexia.com
Maria Caso: maria.caso@connexia.com
Ilaria Montalti: ilaria.montalti@connexia.com