Gifts Today magazine

Celebrating 25 years of illy Art Collection

At the Venice Biennale, artist Robert Wilson unveiled an exhibition paying tribute to the 25th Anniversary of the illy Art Collection, running through July 16

Coinciding with the Biennale 2017, the Robert Wilson exhibition titled ‘The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon. Everything You Can Think Of Is True’ will open on the May 10 at the Magazzini del Sale in Venice. It is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the illy Art Collection, the series of cups that illycaffè – the leading company in the global high-quality coffee sector - has been issuing since 1992 in cooperation with well-known international contemporary artists.

The exhibition is a journey through seven spaces that Wilson, the eclectic American artist and winner of the Leone d’Oro for Sculpture in 1993, created with unparalleled skill, combining a wide variety of artistic styles. A dreamlike environment of great visual and emotional impact populated by animals, typical of Wilson’s poetics, representing the capability to listen, the ability to move, and the attention for everything that surrounds us.

A Siberian tiger in a forest taken from the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch; mechanical bunnies within vintage interiors; wolves and active volcanoes; cranes and monkeys in a white garden; an elegant panther and an unexpected finale ‘Wunderkammer’ dedicated to the iconic cups designed by Matteo Thun in 1991 and interpreted over the 25 years of illy Art Collection by artists such as Marina Abramović, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, Anish Kapoor and Daniel Buren. 

The intentionally playful title of the exhibition invites visitors to a fantastic world typical of the artist’s way of approaching the creative process, one that always maintains the outlook of a child. An enchanted place where everything becomes possible, exactly like the small porcelain canvas of the cups entrusted to the creative flair of the artists involved with illy Art Collection: “Fun playful objects that express the diversity of the artists’ aesthetics,” as explained by Wilson himself.

After 25 years, the Collection has become an iconic, vast series of artistic objects for everyday use on which hundreds of leading contemporary creatives left their mark, contributing to making the original illy espresso cup an immediately-recognisable symbol of high-quality, lovable art.

May 10th through July 16th - 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)
Magazzini del Sale - Zattere Dorsoduro 262, Venice



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