The Maria Lai exhibition in Milan

The Maria Lai exhibition in Milan
The Maria Lai exhibition in Milan

The exhibition at the M77 gallery in Milan pays tribute to the sense of community that reigns in Maria Lai’s works, inspired by literature and folklore

The link with the territory, the relevance of myth and folklore, literary inspiration: these are the in-depth themes in an exhibition that leads us to reflect on how much, to be global, an artist must be deeply local. Maria Lai | (Ulassai, 1919 – Cardedu, 2013) was an experimenter of unusual methods in artistic making, often transfigurations of narratives: this is demonstrated by the entire layout of the exhibition at the M77 gallery, which comes to life from the reading of the works of Salvatore Cambosu, writer and friend of Maria, and in particular from My heart, the story of Maria Pietra, an authentic metaphor for artistic creation.

Maria Lai. The time of the incalculable. Exhibition view at M77, Milan 2021. Photo Lorenzo Palmieri


Here Cambosu’s literary universe comes alive on Teli hanging from the ceiling, up The book of Maria Pietra, an embroidered parchment placed in the center of the room and on Frames, famous in Lai’s production. Oral tradition is also the background to another work, Bind yourself to the mountain (1981), documented by the photographs of Piero Berengo Gardin exhibited in the exhibition. Lai does something extraordinary by anticipating, in a prophetic way, what, only later, would be defined as relational art. The artist, as effectively illustrated in Tonino Casula’s documentary, works on the spirit of his place of origin giving life to a public art intervention that underlines the importance of being a community and of collective living.

– Giulia Pacelli

Art events in progress in Milan

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