LUIGI GHIRRI: VINTAGE PRINTS

3 May - 18 June 2013

Including works by:
Luigi Ghirri

Austin / Desmond Fine Art in collaboration with Galleria Repetto present a solo exhibition of Italian conceptual photographer Luigi Ghirri (1943 - 1992). A leading pracitioner in the medium of colour photography, working from 1970 until his untimely death in 1992, 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”. His starting point was the world around him; cinema posters, maps, deserted fun fairs and street corners. Overlooked, seemingly minor details are re-examined and acquire a new significance. His photographs are characterised by their ironic, witty compositions with a disregard for traditional compositional techniques. They appear almost unskilled; photographs are taken from unusual angles and strange images such as cast shadows become central components. Each detail within the photograph itself is treated with the same importance, sometimes skewing the perspective and flattening the surface. Often we are confused as to what we are looking at, what is real and what is not.

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). His work will again feature at the Venice Biennale (2013) (his work was included in the ILLUMInazioni exhibition at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011) and a retrospective at the MAXXI, the national Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome opens in April of this year.

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).

An illustrated catalogue is available.

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