On the heels of New York Fashion Week, illy caffè launches its latest illy Art Collection featuring designs purposed for fabrics in the 1930s by Gillo Dorfles, a well-known Italian artist and art critic, whose work is currently being celebrated through a major retrospective at the MACRO Museum in Rome, Italy until March 13, 2016.
Dorfles is a Trieste-born artist also known for his academic background in sociology and aesthetics. His inspiration for the cup collection comes from several fabric designs transferred to paper between 1937 and 1940 using the egg oil tempera emulsion technique – an approach used long ago by the great fifteenth-century masters. For Dorfles, they served as a starting point for playful experimentation.
The new illy Art Collection can be characterized by repetition of graphical elements and a reinterpretation of archetypical signs incorporating the form and colors of Dorfles’ imaginative universe, which continue to serve as the hallmark of his poetics and now a reference point in transforming the coffee break into a complete aesthetic experience that restores just the right balance to our existential place in this world.
This collaboration between the artist and illy caffè has developed out of a deep-rooted sharing of values and visions. The close relationship goes beyond sharing the same hometown of Trieste; it is, above all, a matter of sharing the same Mitteleuropean cultural horizons. Gillo Dorfles has been involved with emerging forms of expression and has focused his farsighted gaze on the future present of the Arts in the same way that illy has always courageously supported emerging talent, embracing expressions of contemporary art.
Trieste, Italy in the 17th century was one of the Adriatic port towns which served as the gateway to coffee culture, which included coffee houses that where an epicenter of ideas. Since 1933, the Illy family has been roasting coffee in Trieste and continues to transport its legacy of ingenuity, art and culture from its hometown.