Remembering Luigi Ghirri, an Essential Italian Photographer
Edited by Elena Re, texts by Andrea Bellini, Paola Borgonzoni Ghirri, Luigi Ghirri, Massimo Minini, Elena Re, English / Italian, 20.6 x 25.7 cm, 224 pages, 207 color and 5 black & white plates, hardcover
JRP Ringier, Zurich 2012, ISBN 978-3-03764-249-8
In the early 1970s Luigi Ghirri delved into fundamental ideas about the role of photography in contemporary art. As he began to structure his first series he often created "maquettes" in order to visualize his work and think about it. In the early 1980s, as he probed deeper in his search for expression on the subject of landscapes, Ghirri started producing larger negatives, clearly not for the sake of technique itself, but rather to "get inside" the subject more intensely. Thanks to these master copies, Ghirri was able to produce excellent contact prints, small photographs that he could cut out, file, and line up in order to see each image, plan his series, organize his own view; he could leave the images loose and bring them together again in endless combinations. These small photographs that enabled Ghirri to organize his own vision from the early 1980s until 1992 were the "project prints."
Including about 220 pictures, an essay by Elena Re, interviews with Paola Ghirri, Massimo Minini, and Andrea Bellini, and extracts from Ghirri's writings, this book is like a journey through the work and a glimpse at the working process of a really important Italian artist. Luigi Ghirri (b. Scandiano, Reggio Emilia, 1943 – d. Roncocesi, Reggio Emilia, 1992) worked as a photographer for over 20 years, from 1970 to 1992.
Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri established his reputation with documentary-meets-surrealistic snapshots of contemporary Italian life. Ghirri’s small prints appear modest, but their cinematic qualities and whimsical perspectives hint at the dualities and contradictions of everyday life. Washed-out colors evoke memories, which Ghirri uses to explore the hidden details in banal scenes. He was influenced by other snapshot photographers such as William Eggleston and Lee Friedlander, and his aesthetic and conceptual concerns also evoked the New Topographics.
Italian, 1943-1992, Scandiano, Province of Reggio Emilia, Italy, based in Roncocesi, Province of Reggio Emilia, Italy