Maria Lai (Ulassai, September 27, 1919 - Cardedu, April 16, 2013) is without doubt one of the leading figures in the history of contemporary Italian art. Not only on account of the content of her works, but also thanks to the diversity of her artistic approach, ranging as it does across many media - public art, embroidery, weaving, sculpture, drawing, and writing: all are grist for her poetics.
The book is published to coincide with the exhibition at the MAXXI Museum in Rome, which is presenting to the general public over one hundred works by the Sardinian artist, from the early 1960s to her very last works, and explores the various themes dear to the artist with the contributions of experts in their fields: the locations, the creation, and publication of art books, her public art events and her relationship with the written word and her own writing. Her entire oeuvre is distinguished by its powerful visual impact, revealing a 'way of doing art' that is nothing other than an instrument of thought.
The book's structure reflects the exhibition's own sections, arranged by theme, whose titles are paradigmatic of Lai's oeuvre as a whole: Essere è tessere. Cucire e ricucire; L'arte è il gioco degli adulti. Giocare e raccontare; Disseminare e condividere; Il viaggiatore astrale. Immaginare l'altrove; L'arte ci prende per mano. Incontrare e partecipare.
Text in English and Italian.
Published to accompany an exhibition at the MAXXI Museum, Rome, 19 June 2019-12 January 2020.