Tenendo per mano il sole – Maria Lai

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Maxxi 19 June 2019 – 12 January 2020

curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Luigia Lonardelli
in collaboration with Archivio Maria Lai and Fondazione Stazione dell’Arte

On the occasion of the centenary of her birth, MAXXI is dedicating a major exhibition to Maria Lai(1919-2013), one of the most unique characters of contemporary art in Italy.

A necessary tribute to a great artist who created a language in relational art made of sensitivity, local tradition and global codes.

An exhibition to see absolutely, fascinating and engaging: the works, many unpublished, are exhibited not in a chronological sense but rather ideological and biographical, divided into five sections, each of which is introduced by unpublished videos edited by the director Francesco Casu and the voice of Maria Lai accompanies us in the background throughout the journey.

“Every human being can refuse his own anxiety, or look for answers in religion or art” Maria Lai

Read other citations HERE

Playing and storytelling

Maria Lai reaffirms the power of imagination by stating that the play is not the absolute prerogative of childhood. With his works, he invites us to review his own certainties and put creative possibilities back in our memory.

Tales di Maria Lai 
direct by Francesco Casu

Starting from the eighties, Maria Lai conceived the first Sewn Fairy Tales that will continue in parallel with the Sewn Books.

The fairy tales are open to free interpretation and, in a series of videos, she reads them with the help and collaboration of the director movie Francesco Casu .

Spreading and sharing

Different and often unusual materials in artistic expressions: canvas. iron, stone, wood, plastic, tempera, sand, velvet, enamel, bread dough, recycled materials united by the “thread”, a primary element in Maria Lai’s works.

Imagining the elsewhere

A research begun in the late seventies that leads Maria Lai to experiment, to unite times and places through materials connected by threads that trace routes that can only be reached through imagination

Meeting and participating

Starting in the 1980s, Maria Lai, seeks encounter and participation in a series of works conceived for public space. Starting from “Legarsi ala montagna”, she returned to his native town, involving the population in the realization of his work. It is only the prelude to other works that Lai, up until the 2000s, carried out in its territory

Sewing and mending

With the Looms the Thread appears, the preponderant material that unites ideas and materials in the search for the connection between the inner self and the external world.

Different materials, recovered, poor or coming from the Sardinian tradition united by the thread that “sews”

Maria Lai al lavoro su una delle rampe de La scarpata, UIassai, 1993 Photo Maria Sofia Pisu

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