In 1978 Luigi Ghirri self-published his first book, Kodachrome, an avant-garde manifesto for the medium of photography and a landmark in his own remarkable oeuvre. Ghirri presents his surroundings in the book in tightly cropped images, making photographs of photographs and recording the Italian landscape through its advertisements, postcards, potted plants, walls, windows, and people. His work is deadpan, reflecting a dry wit, and continuously engages with the subject of reality and of landscape as a snapshot of our interaction with the world.
‘The daily encounter with reality, the fictions, the surrogates, the ambiguous, poetic or alienating aspects, all seem to preclude any way out of the labyrinth, the walls of which are ever more illusory… to the point at which we might merge with them… The meaning that I am trying to render through my work is a verification of how it is still possible to desire and face a path of knowledge, to be able finally to distinguish the precise identity of man, things, life, from the image of man, things, and life.’ Luigi Ghirri
Born in 1942, 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 published the first book on Ghirri in the United States, and in 2010, Thomas Demand organized the acclaimed exhibition La Carte d’Après Nature around Ghirri’s photographs. His work was featured in the 2011 Venice Biennale, and last year the exhibition Luigi Ghirri – Project Prints was held at the Castello di Rivoli, in Turin. The largest exhibition of Ghirri’s oeuvre opens in April 2013 at the MAXXI Museum in Rome. Ghirri’s photographs will also be included in this summer’s Venice Biennale.
Luigi Ghirri: Kodachrome will be on view from March 6th through April 20th, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. at 526 West 22nd Street, New York.
For more information, please contact Jacqueline Tran at (212) 243-0200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matthew Marks Gallery