previews

  • “MARIA LAI: HOLDING THE SUN BY THE HAND”

    MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo
    Via Guido Reni 4A

    Curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi and Luigia Lonardelli 

    Presenting approximately 250 works from both private collections and the Maria Lai archives, this exhibition celebrates what would have been the hundredth birthday of the eclectic Sardinian artist (1919–2013). Divided into five thematic sections, it will reflect the overlapping concerns that harmonize in Lai’s oeuvre. The ancient power of myths and popular legends, deeply embedded in her native land’s collective unconscious, are entwined within works that take different forms, from weaving to performance to sculpture, and are made from materials as disparate as cement, ceramic, and bread. A more intimate selection of the artist’s work will be exhibited in a makeshift library, with shelves holding small sewn books, intricate embroidery, and works in clay—few of which will have been seen before. Lai’s continual creativity generated a complex, densely poetic language that will be explored further in an extensive catalogue. Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.