Luigi Ghirri (5 January 1943 – 14 February 1992) was an Italian artist and photographer who gained a far-reaching reputation as a pioneer and master of contemporary photography, with particular reference to its relationship between fiction and reality. Ghirri has been the subject of numerous books. His works are held by various museums around the world and have been exhibited in the 2011 Venice Biennale and at MAXXI in Rome.
Ghirri was born in Scandiano near Reggio Emilia, Italy, on 5 January 1943. He started his career in the 1970s. Influenced by conceptual art, he created his first two series, Atlante (1973) and Kodachrome (1978), where his cropped images of the landscape were presented with a deadpan, often ironic wit and a continuous anthropological engagement with his surroundings. The compositions and hues of his photographs suggested subtle emotional tones and a meticulously rich way of viewing the world, as well as the role of images within it.
Ghirri’s work quickly attracted international attention. In 1975 Time-Life included him in its list of the “Discoveries” of its annual Photography Year publication, and he showed at the Photography as Art, Art as Photography exhibition in Kassel. In 1982 he was invited to the photokina in Cologne, where he was acclaimed as one of the twenty most significant photographers of the 20th century for his series Topographie-Iconographie. In 1989 he made a series shot in the studio of painter Giorgio Morandi.
He died of a heart attack at the age of 49 in Roncocesi, Province of Reggio Emilia, Italy on 14 February 1992.
Selected photographs by Luigi Ghirri