Maria Lai
(1919–2013)

Maria Lai, installation view, EMST—National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, documenta 14, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Maria Lai, installation view, EMST—National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, documenta 14, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Maria Lai, Legarsi alla montagna (To tie onself to the mountain), 1981, black-and-white photographs, photographs by Piero Berengo Gardin, ​Archivio Maria Lai, Cardedu, installation view, EMST—National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, documenta 14, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Maria Lai, installation view, Neue Galerie, Kassel, documenta 14, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Mathias Völzke

Sardinian artist Maria Lai’s oeuvre is closely interwoven with literature and poetry, both formally and as related to content. Writer Salvatore Cambosu (1895–1962) was an important mentor and friend who was also influential to her work. She shared a close bond with him, not only in terms of literature but also to her homeland Sardinia—a land whose history and traditions were the subjects of their respective works. “Follow the rhythm” recommended Cambosu to Maria Lai, meaning harmony and scansion in poetry, which is reflected in her precise technique, the clear, occasionally edgy lines of her aquarelle and drawings, as well as in the sculptural objects made of textiles. It is this untiring exploration of the identity of Sardinian women that occupies Maria Lai and has defined the subjects of her work for over seventy years.

Posted in Public Exhibition
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Maria Lai (1919–2013)

While living with her aunt and uncle near Cardedu in the Sardinian countryside due to poor health, as a child Maria Lai traced bold sketches on the walls of their kitchen with charcoal from the fireplace…

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