Maria Lai

Born September 27, 1919, in Ulassai, Maria Lai is one of the great names on the international art scene. From a young age, she demonstrated a passion for art and creativity until she became established as one of the most significant artists on the Italian art scene in the postwar period. An eclectic artist, Maria Lai gave voice to her artistic vein through weaving, embroidery, writing, sculpture, and drawing. Her search for new forms of expression led her to embrace conceptual art and explore new modes of artistic expression. A key aspect of Maria Lai’s art is her strong connection to territory and community. Her works often involve the active participation of local residents, encouraging collaboration and the sharing of stories and traditions. This would create a sense of belonging and collective identity, highlighting the power of art as a tool for connection and social transformation. With Legarsi alla montagna (1981) and the involvement of the entire village of Ulassai, she created the first relational artwork in Italy, disrupting the traditional relationship between the author and viewer of the work, transforming the audience into the true creator of an artistic act. One of the distinctive features of Maria Lai’s work is her preponderant use of textile art. Lai was a pioneer in combining conceptual art with the tradition of Sardinian textile crafts. She used threads, cloth and fabrics to create artworks that explore the concept of connections between individuals, memory and time. Her innovative approach broke new ground in the field of visual arts, pushing the boundaries of traditional art. Maria Lai passed away in Cardedu on April 16, 2013. The artist was celebrated in 2017 at both the 57th Venice Biennale and Documenta 14, at the double venues in Athens and Kassel, and in 2018 she was featured in the major monographic exhibition Il filo e l’infinito at Palazzo Pitti in Florence. In 2018, M77 presented About Maria Lai: a solo exhibition of the artist’s work.

Exhibitions

At M77:

Date: 28/09/2018

- 07/11/2018

At M77:

Curated by: Alberto Salvadori

Date: 26/10/2021

- 03/04/2022

Artworks

Telaio

Year: 1965
Technique: mixed media, wood, acrylic, fur, jute twine
Dimensions: 157 x 79 x 3 cm

Paesaggio

Year: 1967
Technique: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 20,5 x 30,3 cm

Inverno

Year: 1968
Technique: mixed technique on canvas
Dimensions: 90 x 80 x 5 cm

Telaio

Year: 1971
Technique: mixed media
Dimensions: 80 x 40 x 6 cm

Dall’ultimo diario di Teresa Mundula (Maria Lai)

Year: 1980
Technique: Libro ricamato
Dimensions: 19 × 31 cm

Senza Titolo

Year: 1995
Technique: thread on fabric
Dimensions: 19 x 31 cm

Maria Pietra (Maria Lai)

Year: 1991
Technique: Tecnica mista su stoffa
Dimensions: 33,5 × 58 cm

Chiaro di Luna

Year: 1998
Technique: embroidered book
Dimensions: 46 pages

Duemila natali di guerra (Maria Lai)

Year: 2008
Technique: Stoffa, filo e inchiostro
Dimensions: 41 × 22 cm

Senza Titolo

Year: 2009
Technique: thread on fabric
Dimensions: 23 x 19 cm

Senza Titolo (Geografia in velluto nero)

Year: 2010
Technique: mixed media on layers of fabric mounted on wood
Dimensions: 85 × 67 × 10 cm

Senza Titolo (Geografia con capretta e sasso)

Year: 2010
Technique: mixed media on layers of fabric mounted on wood, stone
Dimensions: 163 × 77 × 6 cm

Senza Titolo (Geografia rossa e nera)

Year: 2011
Technique: mixed media on layers of fabric mounted on wood
Dimensions: 52 × 54 × 5 cm

Publications

M77 Edizioni (2018)
Maria Lai. Ricucire il mondo
SilvanaEditoriale (2014)
Maria Lai, un filo d'arte per tutti
Logus (2014)
Maria Lai. Arte e relazione
Ilisso (2017)

News

Maria Lai on Artforum
Artforum just published an amazing review penned by Alessandra Pioselli (translated by Marguerite Shore) on Maria Lai's …
TALK: Maria Lai
The result of the collaboration between M77 Gallery and 5 Continents Editions on Tuesday 3 December 2019 two appointment…
TALK: A partire da una sentenza
M77 Gallery is happy to invite you to a talk focused on the circulation of works of art entitled: "Starting from a sente…
Un silenzio e uno Sguardo
Opened on the day of her centenary, the exhibition "Un silenzio e uno Sguardo" ("A Silence and a Gaze") MANCASPAZIO in N…
Maria Lai’s first centenary
Today we celebrate Maria Lai's first centenary. Although she left us in 2013, through her works she lives on. On this ve…
M77 at Wopart, Lugano
Opening today Wopart, the international art fair dedicated to works on paper. We will be exhibiting a selection of works…
M77 Gallery at Miart
The day has finally come! Tomorrow Miart will open its doors for the VIP preview. Our booth will represent the 1960s in …
About MARIA LAI
M77 Gallery is pleased to announce the event About Maria Lai, an occasion for reflection on the great Sardinian artist w…
All of Maria Lai’s weaves
Published today yet another amazing article, this time by Il Sole 24 Ore and Marinella Venanzi on Maria Lai’s great retr…