Liliana Moro

I am what I am missing – I am whole lack

Sono soltanto qui e ora? (2017) by Liliana MoroLa Galleria Nazionale

The substance where I am defective is all wrapped up
in the wool blanket. Of the ones I have touched several times I remember
hands, faces, bellies, voices, hairstyles.
They are helping me.

(Enigma: “I am the lack – the lack that I am –
I am what I am missing – I am whole lack – and there is not
nostalgia – not even distance – being what is missing
– now and always – I”)

Mariangela Gualtieri

Liliana Moro
(Milan, 1961)

In the research of Liliana Moro the world of childhood, fairy tales and games allow us to explore a subjective reality and turn autobiographical situations into universal, with a highly metaphorical language, in the “staging” of a raw reality and poetics that ferries the gaze beyond the visible.

Aristocratica (1994) by Liliana MoroLa Galleria Nazionale

The masking is at the center of the Aristocratica video, where the artist presents herself in profile with a white cap on her head and a pig's nose, in the classic pose of fifteenth-century portraiture, but subverts its meaning, reversing a dimension of idealized beauty towards its opposite.

Giovanna e la Luna (1996) by Liliana MoroLa Galleria Nazionale

Liliana Moro's work from the 1990s is characterized by the use of everyday objects, paper creations, sounds, which activate relationships with space and the public. Her approach to sculpture is also ascribed to those years, with the creation of the first terracotta works.

Her first work in terracotta is Giovanna e la luna, defined by Marcello Maloberti as “an Egyptian statue, a mute sphinx”, and by the artist herself “a mystical, detached figure who lets herself be looked at.”

This sculpture is closely linked to Il rovescio della medaglia, tableau-vivant-performance, where the performer presented herself curled up, with her body wrapped in foam rubber bands, leaving her face, feet and a hand holding a red lamp uncovered. The lamp was switched on and off according to the rhythm of the protagonist’s breathing.

This image continues to persist in the artist’s memory so much that, after a few years, she decides to make a sculpture of it.

The need was to find a material that would return the warmth and breath of a living body, starting from the origin of the material itself – the mud, the earth, the minerals that make it up ... – and that would allow us to reflect on the temporality of doing.

UnderdogLa Galleria Nazionale

“That time is a great modeler (or sculptor, as Yourcenar said) – so Liliana Moro – is rather obvious...

In ceramics, time is what regulates and also determines the success of the work. You shouldn’t be in a hurry; ceramic is not only the result but also the waiting for drying, which is sometimes also affected by weather conditions, waiting when it is in the kiln and especially waiting for the kiln to open, a very sensitive and delicate moment for the ceramist […]

There is another powerful element and that is fire. An element that shows all its decisive force also in glass processing.”

Lara Conte

Credits: Story

Liliana Moro and Lara Conte
Works cited:
Mariangela Gualtieri, Antenata, Crocetti Editore, Milano 1992. p. 71.
M. Maloberti, in conversazione con L. Moro, in “Flash Art”, 24 luglio 2015,
L. Moro, in I. Biolchini, Gli artisti e la ceramica. Intervista a Liliana Moro, 31 ottobre 2020,

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Women Up
The National Gallery of Rome celebrates the six-year-long program dedicated to gender equality
View theme
Google apps