Maria Lai

Maria Lai (Ulassai, 27 September 1919 – Cardedu, 16 April 2013) is today one of the great names of the international art scene.

One of the most unique and profound voices of Italian Post-War art, Maria Lai (Ulassai, 1919 – Cardedu 2013) was born in Sardinia, the second biggest island in the Mediterranean located west of the Italian peninsula. Though her early artistic endeavors took her elsewhere, she was always drawn back to the customs and folklore of her island and on the lives and voices of the women who lived there. Through the re-reading of stories and materials from the Sardinian tradition the artist articulated her artistic practice through a wide variety of media including weaving, embroidery, sculpture, and writing. Each of her works reflects the intense echo of an ancient relationship that recalls the dawn of narration and poetry.

Lai’s seminal work, Legarsi alla montagna, a collective performance which saw the pioneering involvement of the inhabitants of the Sardinian village of Ulassai into a unique human and aesthetic experience that took place in 1981, is considered the first example of Relational Art at a global scale. The cathartic and healing power of art has always been at the center of the artist’s work.

Maria Lai spent the last years of her life in Sardinia in a small village near Cardedu.

In 2006 she inaugurated the Museum of Contemporary Art Stazione dell’arte which includes numerous works of her creation, the result of years of study and research.

The artist was celebrated in 2017 at both the 57 Venice Biennale and Documenta 14, in the two venues of Athens and Kassel, and in 2018 she was the protagonist of the important monographic exhibition Il filo e l’infinito at Palazzo Pitti in Florence.


M77 Gallery is proud to present About Maria Lai our next exhibition focused on the extraordinary talent of artist Maria Lai which will take place on Friday 28th September at 7pm.

For the opening event M77 Gallery will host the presentation of the book Maria Lai. Art and connection (Ilisso, 2017) by Elena Pontiggia. On this very occasion an amazing conversation of anecdotes and reflections will take place among Maria Sofia Pisu, niece of the artist and president of the Maria Lai Archive, Cloe Piccoli, art critic, curator and lecturer at the Brera Fine Arts Academy in Milan, and Elena Pontiggia, author of the book.

The conversation will be the special opportunity to open up new prospects on the life and the poetry of Maria Lai, across unpublished materials collected into the volume, the precious testimony of the niece of the artist and the contribution of Cloe Piccoli.

The event will be organised around a fine selection of works, which will be displayed around the M77 Gallery and visible to the public from Friday 28th September to Saturday 13th October 2018.

At M77 Gallery:

Date: 26/10/2021

- 03/04/2022

At M77 Gallery:

Date: 28/09/2018

- 07/11/2018


Senza titolo (Maria Lai)

Year: 1979
Technique: Tecnica mista carta, filo, inchiostro e tela
Dimensions: 26 × 35,5 × 2 cm

Notte stellata (Maria Lai)

Year: 1984
Technique: Tecnica mista su cartoncino
Dimensions: 16 × 28 cm

Senza titolo (Maria Lai)

Year: 1980
Technique: Tessuto su cartone
Dimensions: 24,5 × 19,5 cm

Senza titolo (Maria Lai)

Year: 2003
Technique: Filo su stoffa
Dimensions: 16 × 29 cm

Progetto telaio senza titolo (Maria Lai)

Year: 1969
Technique: Monotipo
Dimensions:  100 × 71 cm

Senza titolo (Maria Lai)

Year: 1978
Technique: Tecnica mista filo, carta, inchiostro
Dimensions: 40,3 × 29,5 cm

Luna e capretta (Maria Lai)

Year: 2011
Technique: Tecnica mista carta e filo
Dimensions: 34,4 × 48 cm

Senza Titolo (Geografia rossa e nera)

Year: 2011
Technique: mixed media on layers of fabric mounted on wood
Dimensions: 52 × 54 × 5 cm

Pagina nera (Maria Lai)

Senza Titolo (Geografia con capretta e sasso)

Year: 2010
Technique: mixed media on layers of fabric mounted on wood, stone
Dimensions: 163 × 77 × 6 cm

Senza titolo (Maria Lai)

Year: 2008
Technique: Tecnica mista su carta, filo, inchiostro e cartoncino
Dimensions: 49,5 × 36 cm

Senza Titolo (Geografia in velluto nero)

Year: 2010
Technique: mixed media on layers of fabric mounted on wood
Dimensions: 85 × 67 × 10 cm

Duemila natali di guerra (Maria Lai)

Year: 2008
Technique: Stoffa, filo e inchiostro
Dimensions: 41 × 22 cm

Senza titolo (Maria Lai)

Year: 1995
Technique: Tecnica mista su cartone e filo
Dimensions: 50,5 × 36 cm

Diario N°3 (Maria Lai)

Year: 1980
Technique: Tecnica mista filo di cotone, carta, tela e piuma
Dimensions: 26,5 × 36,5 cm

Senza titolo (Maria Lai)

Year: 2003
Technique: Tecnica mista filo su stoffa applicato su legno
Dimensions: 35 × 30 cm

Maria Pietra (Maria Lai)

Year: 1991
Technique: Tecnica mista su stoffa
Dimensions: 33,5 × 58 cm

Dall’ultimo diario di Teresa Mundula (Maria Lai)

Year: 1980
Technique: Libro ricamato
Dimensions: 19 × 31 cm

Duemila Natali di guerra (Maria Lai)

Year: 2008
Technique: Inchiostro e filo su stoffa
Dimensions: 39 × 19,5 cm



All of Maria Lai’s weaves
Published today yet another amazing article, this time by Il Sole 24 Ore and Marinella Venanzi on Maria Lai’s great retr…
M77 Gallery is pleased to announce the event About Maria Lai, an occasion for reflection on the great Sardinian artist w…
Maria Lai on Artforum
Artforum just published an amazing review penned by Alessandra Pioselli (translated by Marguerite Shore) on Maria Lai's …
TALK: Maria Lai
The result of the collaboration between M77 Gallery and 5 Continents Editions on Tuesday 3 December 2019 two appointment…
TALK: A partire da una sentenza
M77 Gallery is happy to invite you to a talk focused on the circulation of works of art entitled: "Starting from a sente…
Un silenzio e uno Sguardo
Opened on the day of her centenary, the exhibition "Un silenzio e uno Sguardo" ("A Silence and a Gaze") MANCASPAZIO in N…
Maria Lai’s first centenary
Today we celebrate Maria Lai's first centenary. Although she left us in 2013, through her works she lives on. On this ve…