Elisabetta Di Maggio was born in Milan in 1964 and has long lived and worked in Venice. Her practice is entirely manual and is inspired by the small-scale handwork traditionally associated with women such as embroidery. One of her first major works was a trousseau in paper that simulated the traditional ones in linen.
The artist generally adopts surgical scalpels to cut sheets of tissue paper, small or enormous, common or exotic natural leaves, soap or other materials, including the plaster on walls, which she incises to reveal the underlying decoration. The common denominator behind this variety is the will to visualise the secret patterns underlying the structures of living matter, from plant roots to the cells of animals and the flight paths of butterflies. Microstructures which are then compared with the macro-reality of urban fabrics and the high technology of computer circuit boards. Her work features pre-existing images duly modified through patient intaglio work, at times in ceramics, and elements such as postage stamps with which she recreated on a large scale the effect of ancient mosaics. Elisabetta di Maggio has exhibited in numerous group shows, at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Milan in 2005, the Rome Quadriennale in 2008, the Hangar Bicocca in Milan in 2010, MAMBO in Bologna in 2013, the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan and the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow in 2015, the Fondazione Remotti in Camogli in 2016. She has held solo shows as the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice in 2012 and at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in the same city in 2017.