Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited by Elena Re. Text by Andrea Bellini, Luigi Ghirri, Paola Ghirri, Massimo Minimi, Elena Re.
The color photographs of Luigi Ghirri (born 1943) revolutionized Italian photography in the 1970s with their gentle humor and appearance of compositional ease. Often compared with the snapshot compositions of Lee Friedlander or William Eggleston, Ghirri’s photographs, often verging on the surreal with their imaginative framing devices and visual puns, placed him in a category all his own. In the early 1980s, Ghirri began to use a medium-format camera that allowed him to produce large, richly textured negatives from whose contact sheets he would extract individual shots. He would then rearrange these small images in various permutations. These “project prints” enabled Ghirri to organize his work in a format that he maintained from the early 1980s until his death in 1992. They are now published for the first time in this volume.
Published by Aperture. Text by Germano Celant. Preface by William Eggleston. Notes by Paola Ghirri.
Luigi Ghirri was an extraordinary photographer, as well as a writer and curator whose career was so rich and varied that it seems like a lesson in the contemporary history of the medium. Although well known in his native Italy, Ghirri does not yet have the international audience his work merits--perhaps because he died so young. It's Beautiful Here, Isn't It...--the first book published on Ghirri in the U.S.--will establish him as the seminal artist he was. Uncannily prescient, Ghirri shared the sensibility of what became known in the U.S. as the New Color and the New Topographics movements before they had even been named. Like his counterparts in Italian cinema, Ghirri believed that the local and the universal were inseparable and that life's polarities--love and hate, present and past--were equally compelling. Not surprisingly, his interests encompassed all the arts: he worked in Giorgio Morandi's studio and with architect Aldo Rossi, while influencing a generation of photographers, including Olivo Barbieri and Martin Parr. This dynamic new book includes a selection of Ghirri's essays published in English for the first time, as well as a selected chronology.