Austin / Desmond Fine Art in collaboration with Galleria Repetto present a solo exhibition of Italian conceptual photographer Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992). A leading practitioner in the medium of colour photography and producing his most innovative work during the 70s and 80s, Ghirri played a pivotal role in firmly establishing colour photography as an important medium in contemporary art.
Ghirri’s small scale photographs bridge the gap between a conceptual approach and a more observational methodology to photography. For Ghirri photography “constitutes a great adventure in the world of thinking and looking”. He photographed the world around him; hence the majority of his photographs are set in the Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy where he lived. His focus, however, was not on the grand or the sublime but on the local and the overlooked; abandoned beaches, cinema posters and street corners: small details that most would ignore are re-examined and acquire a new significance. His photographs, characterised by their ironic and witty compositions, constitute a subjective and spontaneous recording of ‘Man and his life…’ combined with a strong eye for design.
During his life time Ghirri achieved recognition as an artist, writer and teacher influencing a generation of photographers. In 1980 his work was included in the group exhibition Ils se disent peintres, ils se disent photographes at the Musée d’Art Modern de la Ville de Paris alongside international artists such as Christian Boltanski, Gilbert and George, Guiseppe Pennone, and Cindy Sherman, securing his place 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 the architect Aldo Rossi, whose studio he photographed, invited Ghirri to work on the architecture section at the Venice Biennale.
Recent exhibitions have included Aperture, New York (2008-9), Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin (2012), Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (2013). He was also included in the ILLUMInazioni exhibition at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).
Ghirri’s work is found in numerous prominent institutions including Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), Archivio dello Spazio – Amministrazione Provinciale (Milan), Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Fotomuseum (Winterthur).
The exhibition at Austin / Desmond Fine Art will include works from a number of different series including: Atalante (1973), da kodachrome (1970-1978), Paesaggi di cartone (1971-1974) and Paesaggio italiano (1980-1989).
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