Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York now represents Archivo Maria Lai, the archives of the late Sardinian artist, who was known for her mixed-media sculptures and canvases informed by literature and oral history. (Pieces by Lai memorably appeared this summer at Documenta 14 and the Venice Biennale.) A selection of Lai’s work will be shown at upcoming edition of Art Basel Miami Beach and next year at the gallery’s location in Aspen, which will mark the late artist’s first solo exhibition in America since 1956.
Lai’s community-forming practice was perhaps best epitomized by a piece she made in 1981 titled Legarsi alla Montagne (To Bind to the Mountain). For the work, which followed a request from her hometown of Ulassai to make a war memorial, Lai got locals to tie strips of blue fabric together. Upon completion, the work took the form of a single ribbon that was woven throughout Ulassai and around a nearby hill.
In a statement, Marianne Boesky described Lai as an artist who had “an uncanny ability to stitch together a kind of universal experience that brings together disparate viewers and inspires both personal and shared responses.”