Luigi Ghirri

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Luigi Ghirri (5 January 1943 – 14 February 1992) was an Italian artist and photographer[1][2] who gained a far-reaching reputation as a pioneer and master of contemporary photography, with particular reference to its relationship between fiction and reality.[3]

Ghirri has been the subject of numerous books. His works are held by various museums around the world and have been exhibited in the 2011 Venice Biennale[4] and at MAXXI in Rome.[5]

Life and work[edit]

Ghirri was born in Scandiano[6][7] near Reggio Emilia, Italy, on 5 January 1943.

He started his career in the 1970s. Influenced by conceptual art, he created his first two series, Atlante (1973) and Kodachrome (1978),[3][6] where his cropped images of the landscape were presented with a deadpan, often ironic wit and a continuous anthropological engagement with his surroundings.[citation needed] The compositions and hues of his photographs suggested subtle emotional tones and a meticulously rich way of viewing the world, as well as the role of images within it.[citation needed]

Ghirri's work quickly attracted international attention. In 1975 Time-Life included him in its list of the "Discoveries" of its annual Photography Year publication, and he showed at the Photography as Art, Art as Photography exhibition in Kassel. In 1982 he was invited to the photokina in Cologne, where he was acclaimed as one of the twenty most significant photographers of the 20th century for his series Topographie-Iconographie.[citation needed] In 1989 he made a series shot in the studio of painter Giorgio Morandi.

He died of a heart attack at the age of 49[7] in Roncocesi, Province of Reggio Emilia, Italy on 14 February 1992.


  • Kodachrome. Self-published / Punto e Virgola, 1978.
    • London: Mack, 2012. ISBN 9781907946240. With an essay by Francesco Zanot in Italian, English, French and German; and translations of the original texts in French and German.
  • Italian Landscape/Paesaggio Italiano (no.11 in the book series Lotus Documents directed by Pierluigi Nicolin), Hamburg: Gingko Press, 1989; Comprises 83 colour plates and 14 essays and interviews by Ghirri and various contributors. 128pp.
  • Il Profilo Delle Nuvole. Immagini di un Paesaggio Italiano. Milan: Feltrinelli, 1996.
  • Atlante. Charta, 2000. ISBN 978-8881582648.
  • Niente di antico sotto il sole. Torino: SEI, 1997; The Complete Essays. London: Mack, 2016. ISBN 9781910164143.
  • Luigi Ghirri. Tokyo: Taka Ishii, 2017. Text in English and Japanese.


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Luigi Ghirri, curated by Manfred Willmann, Fotogalerie im Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria, March–April 1976.[citation needed]
  • Paesaggio Italiano (Italian Landscape), organised by the Assessorato alla Cultura del Comune di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy, July–August 1989.[8]
  • It’s Beautiful Here, Isn’t It…, Aperture Foundation, New York City, 2008–2009.[9]
  • Kodachrome, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York City, 2013.[10]
  • Luigi Ghirri ‘Thinking Images’ Icons, Landscapes, Architectures, MAXXI, Rome, 2013; Brazil; Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2014. A retrospective, curated by Francesca Fabiani, Laura Gasparini, and Giuliano Sergio.[5]
  • The Map and the Territory (Cartes et Territoires), Museum Folkwang, Essen, May–July 2018; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, September 2018 – January 2019; Jeu de paume, Paris, February–June 2019. Curated by James Lingwood.[11][12]
  • Luigi Ghirri (non) luoghi, Palazzo Bisaccioni, Jesi, April-July 2022.[13]

Group exhibitions[edit]


Ghirri's work is held in the following permanent collections:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cole, Teju (28 June 2016). "Luigi Ghirri's Brilliant Photographic Puzzles". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  2. ^ Lange, Christy (1 November 2011). "All Other Images: The legacy of the late Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri". frieze (143). Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b Ladd, Jeffrey (6 May 2013). "Luigi Ghirri's Kodachromes Revisited". Time. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b Conway Morris, Roderick (6 June 2011). "Venice Biennale Thrives Despite Tough Economic Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b Cavicchi, Emiliano (14 July 2014). "Luigi Ghirri, the Absolute Fascination of the Image". International Center of Photography Library. International Center of Photography. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  6. ^ a b Christiansen, Hanne (30 May 2013). "Luigi Ghirri: Saluting the photographer who discovered today's soft, elegant nostalgia back in 70s Italy". Dazed. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b Keates, Jonathan (9 August 1999). "Visual Arts: The Italy where less is more". The Independent. London. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  8. ^ Italian Landscape, Gingko Press, 1989
  9. ^ "Luigi Ghirri: It's Beautiful Here, Isn't It…: November 07, 2008 - January 02, 2009". Aperture Foundation. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  10. ^ Rosenberg, Matthew (28 March 2013). "Luigi Ghirri: 'Kodachrome'". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Luigi Ghirri: The Map and the Territory". Museo Reina Sofía. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Luigi Ghirri: Cartes et territoires". Le Jeu de Paume. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Luigi Ghirri (non) luoghi" (in Italian). 2022-03-25. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  14. ^ "Luigi Ghirri/Aldo Rossi: Things Which Are Only Themselves". Canadian Centre for Architecture. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Luigi Ghirri". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992)". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Luigi Ghirri, Photographs". Canadian Centre for Architecture. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  19. ^ "Search the Collection - The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Luigi Ghirri - MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 14 February 2019.

External links[edit]