Since its inception in 1992, the illy Art collection has collaborated with hundreds of leading contemporary artists, including top art world luminaries such as Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Je‑ Koons, Julian Schnabel, Anish Kapoor, Daniel Buren, James Rosenquist. Each has lent their creativity and singular imprint onto illy’s cups, creating a rich cadre of collectible table top objects. The espresso cup itself, designed by architect Matteo Thun in 1991, is by now ubiquitous throughout Italy and the rest of the world, an immediately symbol of high-quality and passionate attention. illy Art Collection: small works of art, taking ceramic cup as medium, transforming the simple pleasure of drinking an espresso into an experience that fully engages the senses and the mind.
With an artistic practice spanning four decades, visual artist Mona Hatoum is internationally recognise for her oeuvre, which is realised in a diverse and often unconventional range of media, including installations, sculptures, video, photography and works on paper. For the illy art collection hatoum has used an abstraction of the fishnet grid and olive leaf pattern of the arab scarf long associated with histories of labour and human interconnectedness, giving it a formal reinterpretation and a new life as a coffee cup.