Uncovering Italy’s Superlatives in people, places and things

The Fine Art of Curating

Marie-Louise Sciò at La Posta Vecchia Hotel

The art of curation isn’t new to Marie-Louise Sciò. Just step into our hotels Il Pellicano, Mezzatorre and La Posta Vecchia, or browse our pages: from the pillow covers in the hotel bedrooms to the thoughtful range of beauty products and fashion items stocked on our platform, everything that’s part of the Pelli World is the result of her attentive editing process. 

It’s little wonder, then, that her newest collab is all about curating.

What, you ask? One of her all-time favourite subjects: art. For none other than Sotheby’s Milan.

This month, the auction house has called Marie-Louise to handpick a personal selection of artworks as part of this season’s ‘Contemporary Curated’ auction. The event carries the highest pre-sale estimate for a sale of this kind staged in Italy to date.

Choosing the pieces came almost naturally to the tastemaker. “There aren’t any guiding principles that draw me to an artwork,” she says. “Different artists do different things for me. Art moves me, it makes me calm. It makes me still, but it can also make me agitated. As humans, we are made up of so many different emotions, and a specific artwork can pull on specific strings. For my curated edit, I selected artworks that elicited these alternate feelings – whether that be joy, calm, anger, happiness, and much more.” Italian art was, of course, a main focus, as shown from the eclectic picks we’ve rounded up below – testimony to Marie-Louise’s constant effort to spotlight Italian excellence.


From Arte Povera to collages, evocative sculptures and magical paintings, each work tells some of the rich history of Italy’s contemporary art scene, making for a thoroughly compelling collection.

Want to partake in the bidding? It’s from 8 to 14 July. A few of the works will also be on display at Sotheby’s Milan galleries between 12-14 July – so if you’re in town, make sure to visit.

Mimmo Rotella, Serata Eccezionale, 1961

Marie-Louise selected pic. Mimmo Rotella, Serata Eccezionale 1961, ISSIMO art

Marie-Louise chose Serata Eccezionale, a striking décollage on canvas by Mimmo Rotella – one of the key figures of post-war European art – as part of her art edit. 

The piece is quintessentially Rotella: the artist used to make his works from old and weathered posters that he stripped off outdoor walls in Rome, which he then applied onto canvases and further tore off. For our founder, the resulting assemblage exudes an intimate, highly personal quality.

Marie-Louise selected pic. Alighiero Boetti, Divine Astrazioni 1984, ISSIMO art

Alighiero Boetti, Divine Astrazioni, 1987

Conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti was a member of the Arte Povera movement, and made a name for himself for work that was packed tight with conceptual content. The colourful grid tapestry that is Divine Astrazioni – part of the Sotheby’s sale — is a case in point: bold and playful, it reads almost like a visual essay, subverting the classic idea of what an artwork is supposed to look like.

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Natura, 1967

The art of the Argentine-Italian modernist (and Spatialism founder) Lucio Fontana often looks like it comes from another planet, and the piece Marie-Louise picked, Concetto Spaziale, Natura – a pair of sculptures in polished bronze – is no exception.

Heavy yet seemingly weightless, abstract yet tangible, the two objects have an otherworldly, even cosmic feel to them.

Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, Natura 1967, ISSIMO art
Gino De Dominicis, Senza titolo (Torre dei Sumeri), 1986, ISSIMO art

Gino De Dominicis, Senza titolo (Torre dei Sumeri), 1986

For much of his career, Gino de Dominicis was a figure shrouded in mystery within Italy’s art world. He always dressed in black, avoided contact with the media, and refused to have his work photographed. The art he made reflected this enigmatic stance. His sculptures and paintings had an almost fable-like quality, playing on abstract concepts and metaphysical speculations.

Like the Senza Titolo (Torre dei Sumeri) selected by Marie-Louise. Rigorous in its lines, the piece is both abstract and mysterious, suggesting different interpretations.

Piero Dorazio, Fouilles, 1968

Piero Dorazio, Fouilles, 1968, ISSIMO art

A well-known figure in the realm of lyrical abstraction and abstract art, Piero Dorazio started playing with colours and simplified, geometrical designs in the 1940s, becoming one of Italy’s biggest names in Modernism in the decades that followed. He was, in a way, our counterpart to the American Colour Field painters who also came into their own during those years.

Fouilles, a beautiful oil on canvas, exemplifies the artist at his best, blending the vibrancy typical of the 1960s with a bold, dynamic palette – a perfect reflection of Marie-Louise’s personal taste.

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