The new contemporary art prize

The prize established by the European alternative investment platform will acquire each year a work of art exhibited in an Italian or International museum context


Marinella Senatore, I Contain Multitudes, 2023

Lio Art Prize was born from Francesco Marini’s passion for contemporary art and is the result of the combination of philanthropy, artistic sensitivity and interest in alternative assets that distinguishes the activity of the Lio Group. The decision to award artists who express themselves through experimental means derives from Lio’s DNA, which models its corporate philosophy on support for innovative ideas and projects that are an expression of the times in which they were generated, a combination of the artist/professional’s sensitivity, the needs of the public/market community with which they interact, and great potential for development in the field of alternative investments.

Following the jury meeting held on 23 March, Marinella Senatore (Cava de’ Tirreni, 1977) – represented by the  Mazzoleni Gallery, London – Turin – will receive the award for this new edition.

Marinella Senatore is one of the most internationally renowned Italian artists. This award comes at a time of particular attention on her work that has led her to the exhibition hosted last September at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, to mention only the most recent. At the end of April and beginning of May, she will be the protagonist of two major solo exhibitions at Villa Stuck in Munich and at the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg.

The Jury, presided over by Maurizio Dallocchio, and composed by Federico Ghizzoni, Monica Cornacchia, Giulia Ligresti, Laura Bonfanti, Ludovica Cofrancesco and Silvia Franceschini, sanctioned the victory of a luminous sculpture, one of the artist’s most recent productions, created with the innovative GreeNeon technique (mercury-free neon), in line with the artist’s always respectful approach to materials. 

The theme of light is a fundamental component for Senatore: it has been one of the artist’s favourite languages since her studies in film disciplines at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. Light, electric and optical, material and metaphorical, become means of narration and poetic creation, as well as of resistance and cohesion. As the artist explains, “light sculptures are generators of energy that, in the form of light beams, propagate through space, changing it and modifying its structures as well as the individuals in it. The works invite contemplation and action with quotes on the sense of identity of the individual and the collective, “Dance First Think Later”, from Samuel Beckett, or “We Rise by Lifting Others” and “I Contain Multitudes” by Walt Whitman, a quote present in the award-winning work.

In the words of Francesco Marini, founder of Lio Factory: ‘Marinella Senatore stands out for her creative and engaging approach. Her work demonstrates her profound awareness of the importance of art as a tool for social transformation’, recalling a broader, collective approach that has also been affecting the world of finance in recent years. 

We are witnessing, post-Covid, in many sectors, an approach that considers a public dialogue made up of individual sensitivities intersecting with broader cultural and popular sensitivities, of which Senatore’s works are a worthy manifestation.

“Marinella Senatore is an artist who is committed to creating socially engaged works that focus on the cultures and traditions associated with the festivals of the peoples of the global south. Through the choice of phrases that become protagonists, the artist manages to convey a fundamental meaning, generating subjective feelings in the observer.” Silvia Franceschini, curator, researcher and writer in the art world, comments. “One of her latest works, “I Contain Multidudes”, a phrase quoted by Walt Whitman, is a homage to the apartheid period experienced by African populations. This phrase is reproposed with different light structures, to convey a passive repetition that leads to a greater richness of meaning. Marinella Senatore then decided to give greater uniqueness by writing with her own hand, in her own handwriting “writing is a sign of greater intimacy for a work that until now has been collective”. Franceschini concludes by praising the work: “it serves to create a closer bond between the work and the observer, making them feel a subjective belonging to the work itself.”


Marinella Senatore (Cava de’ Tirreni, 1977) is a multidisciplinary artist, trained in music, fine arts and cinema. Her artistic practice is based on the aesthetics of resistance and the transformative power of social engagement and is characterised by a strong collective component and participatory dimension. Institutions that have commissioned and exhibited Senatore’s works and performances nationally and internationally include: Queens Museum, NY; High Line, NY; Centre Pompidou Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich; Pearl Art Museum; MAXXI; Palais de Tokyo; Schirn Kunsthalle; Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; Berlinische Galerie; Museo del Novecento, Milan; Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen; Faena Art Forum, Miami; Bozar; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo; Museums der Moderne Salzburg; Serpentine Gallery; CCA Tel Aviv; Museo Madre; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; ICA, Richmond; Petach Tikva Museum of Art; BAK Utrecht; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo; Palazzo Grassi; Museo Boijmans Van Beuningen; Moderna Museet. The artist has taken part in major biennials around the world, including: São Paulo Biennial; Venice Biennial; Lyon Biennial; Thessaloniki Biennial; Liverpool Biennial; Athens Biennial; Havana Biennial; Gothenburg Biennial; Cuenca Biennial; Pune Biennial; South Tyrol Biennial; Bangkok Biennial and Manifesta 12 in Palermo. In summer 2022, she was the star of the Baden-Baden Festival in Germany and in September received carte blanche from Palais de Tokyo in Paris with an exhibition dedicated to her: ‘Carte Blanche à Marinella Senatore. Alliance des Corps’. 

Upcoming projects include solo exhibitions at: Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; Museum Villa Stuck, Munich; CCA and Tel Aviv; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

She lives and works between London and Rome.


Glass Tubes with mercury free – gas mixture (GreeNeon)

We thank Galleria Mazzoleni and Marinella Senatore for honouring us with the opportunity to exhibit, in addition to the winning work, some of the most significant works of the artist.