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Maria Lai Senza titolo

cm 178 x 240
One of the most unique voices of contemporary Italian art, Maria Lai was able to combine sensitivity, local traditions, and global codes. Senza titolo contains the elements typical of this artist’s research: language and the word, manual work and embroidery. The work comprises a group of cloth pages embroidered with black thread, arranged in orderly fashion on the various lines one after another and, in turn, applied to a canvas that serves as a background. In the late 1970s, the artist made her first Pagine cucite, portions of machine-stitched fabric or paper imitating writing. In the 1980s she began sewing these pages to large scale fabrics, thus beginning the series called Lenzuoli (Bedsheets). The thread is often tangled, knotted, and tied between the various lines, and in some cases the pages are tinted with tempera. The theme of weaving accompanied Lai from her childhood days in Sardinia, where the weaving tradition was very much alive, and was also a way for women to spend time together. The artist described how when she was a child, upon seeing her grandmother embroider, she interpreted this to be a writing method that could be read like a fairy tale. This work is close to the research that Lai had begun a few years before, the common denominator being thread: Libri cuciti, cloth or paper pages stitched so that they resembled writing and assembled in the form of a book, and Geografie, celestial maps sewn on fabric consisting of the combinations of geometric elements, planets, and maps.
On View
Photo Credits
Foto Giorgio Benni
Acquired thanks to the support of the Italian Council, 2019
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