Luigi Ghirri

La Città

April 19 - July 12, 2014
7818 Santa Monica Boulevard
Opening Saturday, April 19, 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Luigi Ghirri: La Città, the next exhibition in his gallery at 7818 Santa Monica Boulevard. The exhibition includes nineteen vintage color prints dating from the early 1970s. This will be the first one-person exhibition on the West Coast of the work of Luigi Ghirri (1943–1992), the Italian photographer who produced pioneering color photographs of landscape and architecture within the milieu of conceptual art.

The photographs in the exhibition, most of which have never been shown before, were made early in Ghirri’s career. These modestly scaled and meticulously printed images record Italy’s contemporary urban landscape through such details as billboards, shop fronts, windows, and walls. Ghirri’s deadpan photographs, imbued with his dry wit, explore perceptual phenomena in collage-like compositions with disorienting figure/ground relationships, as in one image of faded salon advertisements partially covered by a metal roll gate.

The exhibition title, La Città (The City) refers to Ghirri’s lifelong pursuit of photographing urban scenes in his native Italy. One critic wrote recently of Ghirri, “He achieves this otherworldly beauty not through grand vistas or classical figures, but everyday, contemporary street life.”

Born in 1943, Luigi Ghirri spent his life in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, where he produced a singularly open and layered body of work. Although he exhibited extensively during his lifetime, only since his death has his work gained wider public recognition.

In 2010, Thomas Demand organized the acclaimed exhibition La Carte d’Après Nature around Ghirri’s photographs. In 2011, Ghirri’s work was included in the Venice Biennale and was also the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Castello di Rivoli in Turin. Last year, the landmark exhibition Viaggio in Italia (Travel in Italy), originally curated by Ghirri in 1984, was recreated at the Venice Biennale. The largest exhibition of Ghirri’s work since his death, Luigi Ghirri: Pensare per imagine (Thinking through Images), opened at MAXXI, the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome in April 2013 and later traveled to museums in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Luigi Ghirri: La Città will be on view from April 19 - July 12, 2014, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM at 7818 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles.

For more information, please contact Jacqueline Tran at
(212) 243-0200 or email

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