Maria Lai was born in September 27th, 1919 in Ulassai.
At the age of three years, the parents decide to entrust uncles because of her poor health, and Maria will stay with them until the age of nine.
After a brief return to Ulassai, she moved to Cagliari, where she studied in a college with her sister Giuliana.
In 1932 she enrolled at the Masters, where she will have as teacher Salvatore Cambosu, with which will establish a deep and lasting friendship.
In 1939 she decided to move to Rome to study at the Art School, where she attended the lessons of Marino Mazzacurati.
In 1943, because of the war he decides to leave Rome, and he moved to Venice to attend the Academy of Fine Arts with Arturo Martini.
In 1945 she flees headlong from Venice and after a short period in Verona back in Sardinia; in Cagliari from the following year at the Technical Institute teaches women until 1949.
In 1947 she knows in Cagliari Giuseppe Dessi.
She exhibited several times in Cagliari and then in 1957 she exhibited at the Gallery The Obelisk of Rome by Marcello Venturoli.
Up to 1961 you will receive significant success and recognition in Rome and Sardinia.
For about ten years there will be a period of silence, he continues to live in Rome but refuses to expose despite the constant stimuli of Marcello Venturoli, a great admirer of his work.
In 1971 she exhibited at the Galleria Schneider and Rome by Venturoli different frames.
Now begins a phase very prolific for her art, she exhibited in several museums and galleries and at the Venice Biennale in a group show curated by Mirella Bentivoglio.
In 1981 it takes place in Ulassai “Bind to the mountain”, the collective performance for which she’s known today.
In 1982, she realize the Via Crucis for the church of Ulassai, and with Costantino Nivola, Guido Strazza and Luigi Veronesi she build the “Wash of Ulassai”, completed in 1989.
In 1983 she is continuing with landscape interventions in Orotelli with “The hive of the poet”, a work dedicated to Salvatore Cambosu, and “The defeat of the lizards” near Macerata.
Between 1992 and 1993 she made in Ulassai “The rite road”, “The sewn goats ” and “The Scarp”.
In 1993 she leaves Rome and settled in Cardedu.
In 1995 she began working with the theater company “Fueddu e Gestu” with the performance “Maria Pietra”.
From 1999 to 2001 she devoted herself to the project for the Oil Museum of Sabina in Castelnuovo di Farfa.
From 2002 she made several interventions on the territory of Ulassai “Thoughts on art”, “The Wall of tangle” (2004) and “The House of fears” (2005)
In 2004 she was awarded an honorary degree in Literature at the University of Cagliari for the stretch strongly narrative and conceptual of his work, which is realized, however, with traditional techniques, archaic.
On 8 July 2006 it was inaugurated in the old buildings of the former station in Ulassai the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Station, with the donation of 140 works by the artist, the most significant of her career.
2009 is “The capture of the wind’s wing” at the Ulassai wind farm.
In 2011 she won the prestigious “Award Chamber of Deputies for the 150th anniversary of Italy” with the work “Footprints of laws.”
In 2012 she participates with its own space in Pulse “International Fair of Contemporary Art” in Miami.
She died in Cardedu on April 16th, 2013.