At 79 years old, Anna Maria Maiolino’s rich and adventure-filled life has completely transformed how she creates her art. Based in Brazil, this contemporary artist has had a lifetime of different exhibitions, experiences and artistic styles under her belt from around the world as she highlights themes of motherhood, liberation and the body.

Anna Maria Maiolino, b. 1942. Image courtesy of Vulture.

Her most recent exhibition at the London White Chapel Gallery, Making Love Revolutionary, featured more than 150 of her original pieces and is inspired by a group of peaceful protesting mothers (‘Mothers of Plaza de Mayo’) that she encountered in the ‘80s in Argentina where she was a practicing artist at the time.

“[Making Love Revolutionary] is a political-poetic creation about the role of the Plaza Mayo mothers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the military dictatorship,” Maiolino told Hauser and Wirth.

“These brave and courageous women, driven by love for their near and dear ones who were tortured and killed, disappeared; through their cries of love they were able to bolster the resistance and stop the military repression of that historic time.”
Making Love Revolutionary at Whitechapel Gallery. Image courtesy of The White Review.

The exhibition features a variety of different mediums such as drawing, photography, sculpting and video and presents an accumulation of nearly 60 years of her work.

It touches on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of Reduced Inequalities and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Maiolino sits between her mother and daughter for, Por um fio (By a Thread). Image Courtesy of Hauser and Wirth.

Maiolino’s original desire to be an artist stemmed from her experiences as an immigrant post-World War 2. At the age of 12, Maiolino’s family left Italy and immigrated to South America, leaving her feeling isolated and failed by her original country. Maiolino says it was a painful time in her life and the language barrier prevented her from expressing herself properly. So she turned to art to communicate.

Maiolino, who still resides in Brazil, told White Chapel Gallery that she knows her destiny is to be an artist. “It’s a form to make a more beautiful life and it’s also a form to understand who you are.”

Maiolino 1974, working on a solo exhibition in Brazil. Image courtesy of Hauser & Wirth.

“Love becomes revolutionary whenever we take a stance in favour of human rights and against acts of violence.”

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