Molteni: The Collector’s House

Independent curator Caroline Corbetta talks Brummell through the third instalment of this emerging artist exhibition at Molteni&C’s new flagship on Brompton Road

Arts 21 Feb 2019

Art (left to right) by Vincenzo Schillaci, Alessandro Dandini de Sylva, Emiliano Maggi, and Giuseppe Buzzotta
Art by Alessandro Dandini de Sylva at the Molteni&C Dada London Flagship Store
Molteni&C Dada London Flagship Store
Art by Giuseppe Buzzotta

My relationship with Molteni started last year when they approached me to come up with a curatorial proposal for the Italian villa that creative director Vincent Van Duysen was designing for Molteni’s showcase at Salone del Mobile 2018.

So I came up with the idea of curating an ideal collection for an ideal house, from the artwork of young Italian artists. I also wanted to create a kind of meaningful and even sexy friction between the slickness of the furniture pieces and the raw energy of the artworks. And so I came up with a shortlist of young Italian artists all working with an emerging gallery based in Rome.

For me it made a lot of sense for Molteni, being a big name that is made in Italy, to support young Italian artists. The idea being that Molteni expanded the network, and chances for the artists and galleries to be seen and sell their pieces. All of the artworks displayed both at the Salone, and the new Brompton Road store are all sold by the galleries. Molteni is not trying to take the role of anyone in the art world, just expanding the network.

For the new London showroom, it’s another six young [confirming with Caroline] emerging Italian artists born between 1975-1985 who are working with a different young gallery, also based in Rome – called Operativa – which is very accidental. I’m based in Milan, but I realised that in Rome, it’s more about small spaces, research spaces, while in Milan it’s more established. It’s like other European capitals, where it’s about big galleries with several venues, so they tend to show established artists. Having said that, one of the next projects will possibly be developed with an emerging gallery based in Milan.

Nowadays there is a trend for rediscoveries, which I think is shrinking the possibilities for young artists to show their work. That is why the opportunity that Molteni is giving to these emerging artists is so amazing, but on the other hand, this is a great opportunity for Molteni too, as they are starting, within the framework of ‘The Collector’s House’ project, their own collection. This could also live on through the Molteni Museum. It makes sense to bring the mix of art and design together in this way. Of course, there are many, many references and one of them – I would say, the most important – is Gio Ponti.

Gio Ponti, an Italian master of architecture, used to mix art, design and architecture. When working on a project he would call the artist Fausto Melotti to come and intervene – Piero Fornasetti too and many others. He curated exhibitions in show rooms for several Italian companies, like we are doing with The Collector’s House. This type of eclectic approach is part of the Italian DNA and it got lost somehow. Now we’re doing our part to bring it back.

Artists shown within the exhibit The Collector’s House3 at the Molteni flagship are Giuseppe Buzzotta (1983), Alessandro Dandini de Sylva (1981), Cleo Fariselli (1982), Emiliano Maggi (1977), Matteo Masisi (1976), and Vincenzo Schillaci (1984).