Luigi Ghirri
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(Scandiano, 1943) Ghirri began taking pictures in 1969, collaborating with conceptual artists. Throughout the seventies he proceeds by composing evocative series on the various themes: natural and artificial image, the ambiguity of contemporary landscape, the quotation of history, the imagery of consumption. In those years he comes into contact with Massimo Mussini and Arturo Carlo Quintavalle, and begin a fruitful collaboration with the CSAC - which now preserves the largest collection of his vintage-prints - to which he periodically gives updates of his work, and with whom he also collaborates as a member of the scientific committee of the Photography Section, suggesting and indicating historical materials to be acquired. He continues his research oriented to landscape and architecture (prompted by Aldo Rossi), collaborates and makes friends with writers and musicians (including Gianni Celati, Ermanno Cavazzoni, Antonio Tabucchi, Lucio Dalla) and organizes highly original collective enterprises, involving other photographers active on the same themes of description of the Italian landscape, including Viaggio in Italia (1984) and Esplorazioni sulla Via Emilia (1986). The project Viaggio in Italia in particular, conceived by Ghirri and curated together with Gianni Leone and Enzo Velati, is a milestone for Italian photography, constituting an unofficial manifesto of the Italian landscape school born in those years. The book (Luigi Ghirri, Gianni Leone, Enzo Velati, edited by, Viaggio in Italia - Il Quadrante, Alessandria 1984) and the traveling exhibition collect images of many Italian and, to a minor extent, foreigner photographers, such as Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico, Giannantonio Battistella, Vincenzo Castella, Andrea Cavazzuti, Giovanni Chiaramonte, Mario Cresci, Vittore Fossati, Carlo Garzia, Guido Guidi, Luigi Ghirri, Shelley Hill, Mimmo Jodice, Gianni Leone, Claude Nori, Umberto Sartorello, Mario Tinelli, Ernesto Tuliozi, Fulvio Ventura, Cuchi White. From 1983 to 1985 he held courses on history of photography at the Institute of Art History of the University of Parma. His landscapes are suspended, unrealistic, in some ways metaphysical, often devoid of human figures but never devoid of human intervention on the landscape. The use of delicate and unsaturated colors is fundamental in his poetics and comes from the close collaboration with his printer Arrigo Ghi. The shots of painter Giorgio Morandi in the Bolognese studio in via Fondazza are noteworthy. He's the author of numerous album covers for RCA, both of classical music and of Italian artists such as Lucio Dalla, Gianni Morandi, Luca Carboni, CCCP Fedeli alla linea (Epica Etica Etnica Pathos), Stadio, Ciao Fellini, Robert & Cara and others. He suddenly passed away due to a heart attack in 1992, at the age of 49. As Massimo Mussini defined him, he was certainly one of the greatest and most influential Italian photographers of the twentieth century.