Curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Luigia Lonardelli
in collaboration with Archivio Storico Maria Lai
On the occasion of the centenary of the artist’s birth, MAXXI is devoting a major exhibition to Maria Lai (1919-2013), one of the most individual voices in Italian contemporary art. Her works have recently been shown at Documenta 14 and the 2017 Venice Biennale.
The show represents a fitting tribute to an artist who created, ahead of the latest research into relational art, a language combing sensibility, local traditions and global codes.
The title of the exhibition, Tenendo per mano il sole (Holding the Sun by the Hand) is a citation from and tribute to the first sewn fable created by the artist in 1983. More than 100 works have been selected for the show from the early Sixties through to her final research and include sewn books, sculptures, public works and her celebrated “looms”. The works present a complex biography and an approach to creativity that was free and stripped of prejudice.
On the occasion of the exhibition, initiatives dedicated to Maria Lai will also be staged at her birthplace, Ulassai in Sardinia.