Coffee is art. If ever there were folks who held this truth to be self-evident, it would be the good people of Italy and the Scandinavian countries, whose love for coffee is known the world over, if only on opposite ends of the spectrophotometer. It makes sense then that these two titans of the caffeinated-as-art arts would be involved in an actual art show about coffee. In Copenhagen, Denmark, a new exhibition titled “Italian Passion: The Art of Espresso” dives deep into the cultural significance and design in espresso making over the years.
As reported by Wallpaper, the exhibit takes place at Copenhagen’s Italian Cultural Institute and is supported by big name coffee brands like Illycaffe, Lavazza, Nespresso, and Alessi. Last through the end of March, the show will feature 45 different exhibits, collected by curator Elisabetta Pisu.
Showcasing coffeewares and machinery going back nearly a century—from an Eterna espresso machine from 1925 made by Luigi Scapolla to a modern stovetop espresso maker from Stelton designed by Daniel Debiasi and Federico Santi—the exhibit gives light to the aesthetic side of espresso making through the years. There’s the Cimbali Brillante lever espresso machine from the 1950s that the company definitely needs to bring back, and the very futuristic looking Alessi Coban espresso machine designed by German industrial designer Richard Sapper.
From the press release:
Symbol of a quick and intense ritual, to be consumed most often standing up, the espresso coffee soon became identified with a lifestyle, made up of places and atmospheres enriched with design utensils and accessories. Cups, coffee makers, professional machines and bar furnishings have defined an all-Italian style since the beginning of the century, always in balance between tradition and innovation.
The exhibition tells, through a historical overview, how espresso has become the Italian lifestyle recognized all over the world.
Italian Passion: The Art of Espresso takes place March 7th through 31st at the Italian Cultural Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. The exhibit is completely free to attend, but does require an RSVP, which can be made here. For more information, visit the Italian Cultural Institute’s official website.
All images via Italian Passion: The Art of Espresso