“Man needs to link the visible and invisible together, therefore he creates fairy-tales, miths, legends, celebrations, songs, art”
(Maria Lai 1999)
Maria Lai has been an internationally known Italian artist. Ulassai can be described only talking about her, thanks to the important contribution she delivered to her village.
Among her most significative works, 140 are hosted in the Contemporary Art Museum “Stazione dell’Arte”; this is the biggest public collection of her works. Maria Lai was the first artist to propose a “relational art” work, “Legarsi alla montagna“, at an international level, in 1981.
Photo: Maria Lai. Ph. Elisabetta Loi, Courtesy Fondazione Stazione dell’arte
An open air Museum
The village is actually an open-air Museum in balance among city architecture, nature, and artworks. The public wash house is one of the most important building of the Open-air Museum. The link between man and his places has always been an important topic for Maria Lai, then she worked on the ceiling of a place in which Sardinian women worked hard for centuries.
Stazione dell’Arte, the treasure chest of her pieces, enhance the atmosphere.
After nine editions of “I luoghi del cuore” census, the first conservation intervention in Sardinia!
Ulassai contemporary art Museum
The Stazione dell’Arte Foundation is dedicated to Maria Lai (Ulassai, 1919 – Cardedu, 2013), she was an important artist during the second world war times. Maria was a pioneer in “relational art”, thanks to the famous work “Legarsi alla montagna“ performed in Ulassai in September 1981.
Opened in 2006, the Museum is the result of her donation of 140 among her remarkable works. It is located in the former railway station of the village. This choice was precise: her goal was to draw people near art.
As a connecting people area, the railway station is the ideal frame to host the works that such a remarkable artist donated to her birthplace.
Ph. Arasolè, Courtesy Fondazione Stazione dell’arte
The artist’s creative stream
Maria went on expressing her creative stream, of course. We can admire her contribution also on the facade of the ticket office with the installation called “Le cinque esse”, or the ceramic blue ribbons showing people the way to visit the museum, and refers to her most famous performance work “Legarsi alla montagna”. Or the steel loom on one of the buildings’ doors (replacing the panel where there was a Maria’s poem damaged by the wind), and the “Monumento a Gramsci” dedicated to such an important personality she felt a strong intellectual connection with.