Luigi Ghirri (1943 – 1992) was an Italian photographer who, beginning in the 1970s, produced pioneering color photographs of landscape and architecture within the milieu of conceptual art. Ghirri’s photographs are presented with a deadpan, often ironic wit and always consider the tenuous balance between people and their surroundings. He worked in series, photographing parks, beaches, and urban scenes of his native Italy, producing modestly sized, meticulously made prints. His use of color has been lauded for its capacity to express “both prescience and nostalgia” in its distinct encapsulation of the first wave of color photography.
Luigi Ghirri spent his working life in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, where he produced one of the most open and layered bodies of work in the history of photography. Although he exhibited extensively during his lifetime and was at the height of his powers when he died in 1992, it has only been after his untimely death that his true achievement has begun to be appreciated. In 2008, the Aperture Foundation produced the first book on Ghirri in English, and in 2010, Thomas Demand organized the acclaimed exhibition La Carte d’Après Nature around the Ghirri’s photographs. His work was featured in the 2011 Venice Biennale, and in 2012 the exhibition Luigi Ghirri – Project Prints was held at the Castello di Rivoli in Turin. The largest exhibition of Ghirri’s oeuvre opened April 2013 at the MAXXI Museum in Rome. Ghirri’s photographs were exhibited at the 2013 Venice Biennale.