Maura Biava

Maura Biava (Reggio Emilia, Italy, 1970) lives and works in Amsterdam. She is fascinated by the hidden laws of nature, and her work revolves around that. According to Biava, it is the entanglement in between information, matter and energy that shapes our reality. To make this visible in her work, Biava uses clay as matter, mathematics, numbers and analytic geometry as information and her actions and performances as energy.

Biava has graduated from the Academy of Brera in Milan (1992) and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1999). Her work as a multimedia artist took Biava to several specialized residencies all over the world: European Ceramic Work Center – Sunday Morning, s’Hertogenbosch (2008); the American Academy in Roma (2010-2011); the Museum Carlo Zauli, Faenza, Italy (2013); the ISCP New York (2014) and Le Maupas A.I.R. France (2017). Since her graduation, Biava has exhibited all over the world, including the US, the UK, Australia, China, the Netherlands and all over Europe. Her works are part of such collections like the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Stedelijk Museum De Domijnen, Sittard, Kunstfort Centrum Voor actuele kunst, Akzo Nobel Art Foundation and De Nederlandsche Bank. Since 2005, she teaches at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, and in 2015-2016 she also taught at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.

“Maura Biava searches the sensible vitality of form and dilates its skin in space. The form acts on feelings through direct sensory perception and thus influences our biological state. A living space fully confident in his emotional intelligence. So its exact geometry is, for her, a means of psychological and behavioral analysis. Applying the principles of formal logic and mathematical laws, particularly those relating to methodological procedures. But, despite her firmness in applying these principles, Maura Biava is not a fanatic nor a mystical intransigent. Her art remains humanistic. A beautiful spiral is for example one of the results of the translation of mathematical formulas hybridized in plastic identity that characterized her research. I would not speak of the psychology of form but of phenomenology of vision. Her work is always acting on the psychophysical perceptive apparatus of the viewer and not only on a psychological and cultural level. Each work implies symbolic meanings but at the same time works in its most immediate perception; so it can allow both an intellectual and an emotional perception, there is an interchange between the mathematical data(which is given as the model) and the pure emotion of these basic geometric shapes that correspond to regular forms of the organic world.”

— Marco Tagliaferro (curator of Biava’s exhibition at Museo Carlo Zauli in Faenza in 2013)

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