The new illy Art Collection was created during the annual International Summer Program, that for the past 20 years has been hosted by the Watermill Center and led by the founder and Artistic Director, Robert Wilson. The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary workshop devoted to arts and sciences - here, people from different backgrounds and countries can explore and experience new forms of art, breaking through artistic boundaries.
At this summer’s workshop, five artists - Christopher Knowles, Hope Esser, Willie Filkowski, Clo’e Floirat and Gintare Minelgaite - were chosen to depict the spirit of the Watermill Center on the iconic illy espresso cup in collaboration with Robert Wilson. The collection’s designs contain elements from the architecture and grounds of the Watermill Center, references to the art within its walls and recurring themes in Wilson’s work.
The Watermill Center -- the works it contains, its architecture and the very materials of which it is constructed – provides the creative catalyst for this illy Art Collection. Beyond the unmistakable Wilson “ok,” is the work of Clo’e Floirat and Gintare Minelgaite, inspired by the architecture of the Center. Willie Filkowski has worked using a technique usually applied to architectural elements (especially surfaces and stone). Hope Esser has used the red wolf, a reference that recurs in the work of Robert Wilson at the Center.
These elements modernize cups and saucers, transforming the coffee ritual into a creatively original taste experience
Robert Wilson (born 1941, Waco, Texas) attended the University of Texas where he showed a strong interest in architecture, design and painting. In 1963, he transferred to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where he came into direct contact with the pioneering dance choreographers Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham, as well as the work of John Cage.
The loft where Robert Wilson lived – formerly the Open Theater – soon became a meeting point for artists, craftsmen, housewives, retirees, businessmen, intellectuals and an assortment of impoverished youth before transmuting into a factory-laboratory, the first nucleus of the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds that he founded. Robert Wilson never had a formal education in theater arts, which, according to some, is why his work is so original.