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Luigi Ghirri

(1943 - 1992)

Born in Scandiano (Reggio Emilia) in 1943 Luigi Ghirri was an important pioneer in the field of conceptual colour photography, working from 1970 until his untimely death in 1992. Ghirri’s small scale colour works of seemingly banal, everyday objects and scenes revolutionised Italian photography and played a pivotal role in establishing colour photography as an important medium in contemporary art.

During his lifetime Ghirri achieved recognition as an artist, writer and teacher influencing a generation of photographers. In 1975 he was listed as one of the “Discoveries” in Time Life’s Photography Year and participated in the exhibition Art as Photography – Photography as Art in Kassel. In 1980 his work was included the Ils se disent peintres, ils se disent photographes group exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris alongside international artists such as Christian Boltanski, Hans Peter Feldmann, Giuseppe Penone, and Cindy Sherman, firmly establishing him within the international art scene. In 1982 he received the accolade of being one of the twenty most significant photographers of the 20th century by Photokina in Cologne and, in 1985 Aldo Rossi invited Ghirri to work on the architecture section at the Venice Biennale. This year Ghirri’s work will be once again presented at the Venice Biennale and a retrospective at the MAXXI in Rome opens this April.

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