BY MELANIE GERLIS
Online magazine Artsy identified Maria Lai as one of “14 artists you’ll be talking about long after the Venice Biennale”. It seems the prediction has come true as gallerist Marianne Boesky now represents the late Italian artist’s archive and will organize Lai’s first US solo exhibition since 1956 in her Aspen space on February 16, ahead of a larger gallery show in New York in 2019.
Lai’s intricate work takes on the language, textiles and identity of women from her native Sardinia. Boesky will bring Lai’s works, including stitched books and other loom-based pieces, to Art Basel Miami Beach next month, priced at €30,000-€200,000.
Lai, who died in 2013, had only seven works ever to come to auction, according to Artnet’s database. “There are very few women who broke through Italy’s postwar scene, now some are getting their due,” Boesky says. Florence’s Uffizi gallery plans a survey of the artist’s work in March 2018 while Magazzino, the Hudson Valley space run by collectors Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, will have a show in 2019.